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A High Fiber Diet May Prevent Breast Cancer

Update Date: Feb 02, 2016 08:09 AM EST

A recently published study featured in the scientific journal Pediatrics suggests that young women including teens who have fiber-rich diet are less likely to develop breast cancer later in their adult life.

The research concludes that women who consume food rich in high-fiber content in their younger years have 24% less risk in contracting breast cancer before menopausal stage.

"Women are doing themselves a huge favor in terms of breast cancer prevention if they increase the amount of dietary fiber intake earlier in life rather than later," remarked lead author Maryam Farvid of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as quoted saying by Yahoo News.

The study involved a careful analysis of 90, 000 health records of women including a survey about their high school diets.

The findings reveal 12-18% lower risk of breast cancer for those who reportedly had high intake of fiber as part of their regular diet. The chance of getting cancer is further reduced by 24% for those who habitually consumed high fiber foods since adolescence.

"Among all the women, there was a strong inverse association between fiber intake and breast cancer incidence," the official press release stated as mentioned in a report by VOA News.

While the results of the study are indeed laudable to encourage young women to pay more attention to their dietary habits, some recognize a serious limitation of the study.

"The recollection of dietary habits more than a decade earlier must be questioned," writes Blackwell. On the other hand, she says, "people's dietary habits don't really change a lot. ... In general, what you eat as a teenager is really formative as to what you eat later in life," observed Kristi King, a dietitian at Texas Children's Hospital as mentioned in a report by NPR.

Nevertheless, the research seems to coincide with the government-recommended Dietary Guidelines for Americans advising a daily consumption of 38 grams and 25 grams of fiber for men and women respectively.

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