Science

Prolonged Fasting At Night May Cut Breast Cancer Brisks

By Christie Abagon , Nov 13, 2016 09:52 PM EST
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There have been a lot of studies about how fasting can actually be beneficial to one's health.  Regular fasting allows your body to rest, which means it can do very important jobs like DNA repair and keeping cells young and resistant to disease.

Researchers Analyzed Diet Reports From Women With Breast Cancer

Women's Healthy Eating and Living conducted a study among 2,413 women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer by assessing four prescheduled phone calls asking the women what they ate over the last 24 hours.  The women were aged 27 to 70.  The calls were done at baseline, just before the study started, 1 year after the study started, 4 and then 6 years after.  The researchers analyzed these diet reports to estimate how long the women went without food overnight and found out that fasting less than 13 hours per night was associated with a 36% higher risk for disease recurrence as compared with fasting 13 or more hours per night.

Study Results Are Great But Not Mature Enough To Make Clinical Recommendations

Catherine Marinac, a doctoral candidate at Moores Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego (UCSD), one of the authors of the study said: "Prolonging the overnight fasting interval may be a simple, nonpharmacological strategy for reducing a person's risk of breast cancer recurrence and even other cancers.  Previous research has focused on what to eat for cancer prevention, but when we eat may also matter, because it appears to affect metabolic health."

However, it may just be too early to make any recommendations.  Ruth E. Patterson, PhD, professor, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, Moores Cancer Center, UCSD, senior author said: "To our knowledge, this is the first paper examining nightly fasting and breast cancer prognosis in humans.  Therefore, the data are not mature enough to make clinical or public health recommendations. There doesn't seem to be any downside, and it might help some individuals with sleep, metabolic health, weight management, or chronic disease risk."

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