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Lower Risk of Breast Cancer with DASH

Bananas Cereal BlueberriesA diet designed to lower blood pressure may also decrease the risk of one type of breast cancer, suggests a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The study is from the long-running Nurses Health Study.

The study categorized how closely almost 87,000 cancer-free women followed a diet known as DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). DASH emphasizes fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains; it limits sodium, sugary foods, and red meat.

After tracking the women for 26 years, slightly less than one percent of the women developed ER-negative breast cancer. But the women whose diets most closely resembled the DASH diet had a lower risk of developing estrogen receptor-negative (ER-) breast cancer, compared to the women who least followed the diet. ER- cancers, which do not respond to the hormone estrogen, account for about one-quarter of breast cancers.

No association was found between estrogen receptor positive breast tumors and fruit and vegetable intakes.

Source: Fung TT, Hu FB, Hankinson SE, Willett WC, Holmes MD. "Low-carbohydrate diets, dietary approaches to stop hypertension-style diets, and the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer." Am J Epidemiol. 2011 Sep 15;174(6):652-60.

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