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Dietary Carotenoids Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk in Smokers

Posted Feb 08 2010 7:42am
The carotenoidsparticularly beta-caroteneare plant chemicals (phytochemicals) responsible for some plant colors and have anti-oxidant properties.  Several research studies have suggested that beta-carotene might help reduce breast cancer risk.  A new study reports that dietary consumption of alpha- and beta-carotene appears to be associated with a reduction in breast cancer risk among smokers.

In this new studybreast cancer researchers examined the relationship between carotene consumption and the risk of invasive breast cancer in a population of nearly 37,000 Swedish women.  During the 10 year follow-up1,008 of these women were diagnosed with breast cancer.  Analysis of the study data showed that: 
  • Among women who had ever smokedconsumpton of alpha-carotene was associated with a 68% reduction in breast cancer risk.
  • A 65% breast cancer risk reduction was observed among women who had ever smoked and dietary beta-carotene consumption.
  • Among women who did not use dietary supplementsincreasing consumption of alpha- and beta-carotene was related to a decrease in breast cancer risk.
  • These associations were only observed for hormone receptor-positive breast cancers.
  • Despite the above resultsno relationship between alpha- and beta-carotene intake and overall breast cancer risk was observed.
This is interesting new research that adds to the data on breast cancer risk reducing foods.  Beta-carotene supplementation is somewhat controversial because a couple of studies have suggested that high dose supplements might increase the risk of lung cancer.  Because of this I don't recommend supplements containing super amounts of beta-carotene; food sources are best.  Howeverother researchincluding this new studysuggests that beta-carotene might help reduce the risk of breast cancer.  Carrots are rich in beta-carotene and as such make a great food choice to get adequate amounts of this anti-oxidant.  Carrots are also a good source of falcarinola phytochemical that has also been reported to reduce cancer risk.  The presence of these anti-oxidants is what makes carrots one of my top ten cancer fighting foods.

To learn about my other favorite cancer fighting foodsread my book Fight Now: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer at www.fightBCnow.com.
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