A research presented at the Breast Cancer Symposium, held from Dec 6 to 10, 2011, took everyone by surprise. According to the results of the research, an increased intake of starch exposed one to a greater risk of recurrence of breast cancer. As per the analysis of the research by Jennifer A. Edmond, M.S., public health doctoral student, University of California, San Diego, it is not just the carbohydrates that triggers breast cancer but starch.
The research was conducted on 2,651 women who took part in the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living Dietary Intervention Trial, which was a plant-based intervention trial enrolling over 3,088 survivors of breast cancer. Researchers at WHEL studied the recurrence of breast cancer by following the participants of the research for over seven years.
The analysis involved an examination of how changes in the intake of carbohydrate influenced the recurrence of breast cancer. Although, the dietary trial by WHEL focused on vegetables, fruits, fat and fiber, there wasn’t really a specific carbohydrate goal.
Edmond along with her colleague gathered information about carbohydrate intake from several 24-hour dietary recalls at baseline as well as at one year. At one year, the participants informed Edmond about all that they had eaten for the last 24 hours. At baseline, the carbohydrate intake was found to be 233 grams per day.
The results showed that women who had a mean increase in the rate of carbohydrate intake, which was by 2.3 grams per day during the first year, had breast cancer recurrence and women who had a mean decrease of carbohydrate intake by 2.7 grams per day during the first year did not report the recurrence of breast cancer.
Edmond reported that the change in starch intake accounted for about 48 percent of change in the carbohydrate intake. The mean change in the intake of starch in the first year was -4.1 grams per day among those who had a recurrence of breast cancer and -8.7 grams per day among women who did not report breast cancer recurrence.
While stratifying the tumour grade in the patients, Edmond and her colleague found out that women who had lower-grade tumours were at a higher risk of breast cancer recurrence. The indication, however, reports the need to conduct further researches to find other factors that might be responsible for triggering breast cancer recurrence.
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