To Your Health
March, 2021 (Vol. 15, Issue 03)
Fasting for Cancer Prevention
By Editorial Staff
Breast cancer prevention, that is. Women, listen up, because with one in eight women receiving a breast cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives, anything you can do to reduce your risk is worth giving a shot.
In this case, it could be as simple as adjusting when you eat – and don't eat – during the day.
In a study that used a mouse model to evaluate the impact of intermittent fasting on breast cancer growth, researchers compared different eating conditions by dividing obese, postmenopausal mice into three groups. One group had unrestricted, 24-hour access to food; a second group (the intermittent fasting group) could access food only during the eight hours of highest activity (which for mice, is at night, but for humans, would generally be during the day); and a third group was fed an unrestricted, but low-fat diet. (A diet low in fat has also been shown to reduce breast cancer risk.)
Published in Nature Communications, study findings revealed that intermittent fasting – eating only within an eight-hour window when activity was highest – and aligned with circadian rhythms decreased the risk of development, growth and metastasis (to the lungs) of breast cancer.
Intermittent fasting may have numerous other health benefits beyond cancer prevention, suggests research (including this study): weight loss, regulation of the circadian rhythm, improved metabolism and more. Talk to your doctor for additional information and to find out if intermittent fasting is right for you.