Starch Intake Might Increase Risk of Breast Cancer

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According to the latest research, increased consumption of starch can increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence in women. The researchers said specifically that it was not the carbohydrates content in general in the food but starch that is particularly dangerous for increasing the risk of breast cancer. The lead researcher of the study Jennifer A. Emond said that women who took large quantities of starch in their meals over a period of time were more susceptible to cancer and the chances of recurrence of cancer.

For the study, a total of 2651 women were considered. These women were also participants of Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) Dietary Intervention Trial. This trial was conducted on a total of 3088 cancer survivors and the influence of different plant based foods on their health was reviewed. The follow up period of the study was for seven years. The subset group was chosen for starch study by the researchers of the present study, which took place in California. Emond said that the WHEL study was aimed at studying the influence of different plant produce but was not specific about starch influence.

The information for the study was obtained from several sources and they provided a full day’s meal details. The data was collected over the period of a year. Participants provided details of food consumption over the phone. The researchers found that the intake of carbohydrates, at baseline, was 233 grams each day.

Results of the study showed that people who increased the consumption of carbohydrates by 2.3 grams had a higher recurrence rate of breast cancer. On the other hand, those who decreased their carbohydrates intake by 2.7 grams recorded a considerable reduction in risk of breast cancer. This result was based on the data of the first year.

The research also found that most of the carbohydrate content came from starch. Women who faced cancer recurrence had increased their starch intake by 4.1 grams. According to researchers, there was an increase in the risk of recurrence of breast cancer by 9.7% among people who reduced intake of starch based products. On the other hand, the risk of breast cancer increased by 14.2 % among women who increased their starch intake over the period of a year. Emond said that these results have been found irrespective of other dietary changed that occurred during the year.

The research further revealed that the change in risk factors for women based on starch content only applied to cancers where the tumors were of low grade. In any case, it is recommended that breast cancer survivors reduce their starch content significantly.