Dietary Impacts on Breast Cancer

October is breast cancer awareness month.  Sadly, 12.4% of all U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime.  Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women.

Death rates from breast cancer for U.S. women are higher than those of any cancer, besides lung cancer.  About 85% of cases occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer.  These facts strain our hearts and minds.  We all have women in our lives whom we love dearly; mothers, sisters, nieces, aunts, grandmothers, wives, partners, friends.

What can we pro-actively do?  One of the most impactful things the wonderful women in our lives can do to clean their cells, reduce cancer risks, and enhance healing is to remove … eradicate … sugar.  Just cut it.

Breast Cancer and sugar? Here’s the scientific rationale, in brief.  When you eat sugar, you increase your body’s insulin production.  Increased insulin causes systemic inflammation.  The science is in:  systemic inflammation causes chronic disease and is significantly linked to cancer cell growth.

High insulin also increases estrogen levels … which correlate with increased breast cancer risk.  Insulin is also directly linked to increased body fat.  And the science is in on this point, too; excess body fat increases a woman’s risk for breast cancer.

So, the good new is this:  eating low glycemic, non-inflammatory foods, enhance the body’s ability to prevent cancer.That’s a scientifically-based conclusion. Guess what?  Elements meals are rated “low” on the glycemic index. They have a low glycemic load. They’re dietary inflammation index rating is going to be low, too.

Please understand … at Elements, we make whole food meals for a purpose.  That purpose is your health and happiness. Straight up.

For some reading on the topic of insulin-resistance and breast cancer risk, view these articles:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1399128 https://www.cityofhope.org/blog/insulin-and-breast-cancer-risk

Some of the “numbers” this physiological condition creates, as I identified in last week’s 2MT, are sorrowful. I integrated my research of breast cancer with my ongoing research into the alcohol/health matrix—creating a breast cancer/alcohol taxonomy. Some data points:

Most people know alcohol consumption can cause health issues; yet, most don’t know that it can raise the risk breast cancer … and mouth, throat, esophageal, liver, stomach, pancreas, colon and rectal cancers.

Higher alcohol consumption increases this risk. According to the American Cancer Society, “[e]ven a few drinks a week is linked with an increased risk of breast cancer in women”. The risk is particularly high in women who do not get enough folate.

So, women, please ensure that your eating patterns involve getting enough folate (a B vitamin). Additionally, alcohol raises the estrogen levels, which is associated with higher breast cancer risk.

Ethanol. The specific culprit at the center of the alcohol/health/cancer issue is ethanol. It’s the type of alcohol included in all alcoholic drinks … liquors, beers, wines, and others. Alcoholic drinks contain different percentages of ethanol, but in general, a standard size drink of any type — 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor — contains about the same amount of ethanol (about half an ounce).

Of course, larger or ‘stronger’ drinks can contain more ethanol than this. Overall, the amount of alcohol someone drinks over time, not the type of alcoholic beverage, seems to be the most important factor in raising cancer risk. For more on the alcohol/breast cancer link, here are some additional articles:

https://www.oncologynutrition.org/erfc/hot-topics/alcohol-breast-cancer/
https://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2017/05/25/alcohol-and-breast-cancer-how-big-is-the-risk/

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