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High-Fat Diet During Puberty Is Associated With Higher Risk Of Breast Cancer

August 31, 2010: 11:25 AM EST
Pubescent girls whose diet is high in fats could have a greater risk of developing breast cancer later in life, whether or not they become obese or overweight, according to a U.S. study. The findings, which suggest that a high-fat diet may have harmful effects beyond those associated with gaining weight, are the latest in a long-term, multimillion-dollar project studying the impact of lifelong environmental exposures that may dispose women to breast cancer. "A high-fat diet during puberty can lead to the production of inflammatory products in the mammary glands of adults, which can promote cancer growth," a researcher said. Earlier research by the same scientists found that the hormone progesterone activates genes that trigger inflammation in the mammary gland that may increase breast cancer risk.
Sandra Haslam, et al., "High-fat diet during puberty linked to breast cancer risk later in life", News release, Mich. State Univ. Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Center, August 31, 2010, via EurekAlert, © MSU
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