Dietary Fat Intake Increases Mortality Risk in Breast Cancer Patients
Posted Jan 24 2011 10:31am
Just a couple of weeks ago I discussed an animal research study that explored the possible impact of dietary fat and cholesterol intake on breast cancer risk . According to that study, breast cancer tumors appear to absorb cholesterol from the blood stream and immediately use it for blood vessel growth and overall breast cancer tumor growth, suggesting that dietary fat and cholesterol can increase breast cancer risk and development.
A recent human breast cancer study examined the impact of dietary fat intake after breast cancer diagnosis on breast cancer - specific and overall survival in breast cancer patients. The study investigators used a food frequency questionnaire to assess the dietary nutrient intake of over 4,400 breast cancer patients. While most of the macronutrients and micronutrients examined did not show a statistically significant impact on survival, the study investigators reported
Women consuming the highest amount of saturated fat (13% of daily total calories on average) had a 41% greater risk of dying from any cause compared to women with the lowest saturated fat intake (7% of total calories on average).
Risk for dying specifically from breast cancer was increased by 55% in women consuming the highest level of saturated fat; however, this was not statistically significant compared to breast cancer patients consuming the least amount of saturated fat.
Consumption of high levels of trans fat (1.6% of total daily calories on average) increased the risk of dying from any cause by 78% compared to consumption of low levels of trans fat (0.7% of total daily calories on average).
This study confirms previous human and animal research studies that suggest that consumption of some dietary fats can have a negative effect on breast cancer risk and breast cancer outcomes. This specific research study clearly indicates that saturated fat and trans fat, the two least healthy forms of dietary fat, can increase a breast cancer patient's risk of death due to any cause.
Research continues to show us the importance of eating a healthy diet. Diets high in saturated fat and trans fat are generally not considered healthy due to the negative impact these dietary fats have on a number of human health endpoints. Minimizing our consumption of these fats can go a long way towards developing a healthier diet and improving our overall health profile.