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Eating Peanut Butter During Adolescence Could Improve Breast Health in Adulthood

Update Date: Sep 26, 2013 03:50 PM EDT
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Peanut butter is one of the many staples that people will find in household pantries throughout the country. Not only is this spread delicious, it is also good for the body when consumed in moderation. Now, according to a new study, peanut butter might have even more health benefits. This study's findings suggest that young girls who eat peanut butter might improve their breast health when they reach adulthood.

"These findings suggest that peanut butter could help reduce the risk of breast cancer in women," said senior author Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH, associate director for cancer prevention and control at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.

In this study, the researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Harvard Medical School in Cambridge examined the relationship between eating peanut butter and breast disease. The researchers looked at girls between the ages of nine and 15 and measured the frequency of their peanut butter consumption. The team found that young girls who ate peanut butter or nuts on a regular basis were 39 percent less likely to have benign breast disease by the time they reach 30. Even though benign breast disease may not be cancerous, other studies have found that it does increase one's risk of breast cancer later on. The researchers reported that other foods, such as beans, lentils, soybeans and corn could also yield similar results.

The data was taken from the Growing Up Today Study, which collected information on 9,039 American girls between 1996 and 2001. This study followed up on the participants from 2005 to 2010 in order to record the number of cases of benign breast disease.  

The study, "Vegetable protein and vegetable fat intakes in pre-adolescent and adolescent girls, and risk for benign breast disease in young women," was published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

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