Breakthrough Study Shows Reduced Recurrence Of Breast Cancer In Women On Mediterranean Diet
By Kurtis Bright
Surprise, Surprise: A Diet Heavy In Fresh Fruit And Veg, Nuts, Fish And Whole Grains Is Better For You
Even with so many negatives in the world, it is undeniable that this is a great time to be alive--at least when it comes to the cornucopia of medical paradigm shifts that are taking place right before our eyes.
We seem to have new revelations on the benefits of marijuana every day, for example. And these days kratom is joining venerable marijuana as a widely accepted aid to humans suffering a variety of ailments.
But one healthy choice that has been known for decades now in the West, and much longer in Europe continues to produce amazing results: the Mediterranean diet.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past 40 years, the Mediterranean meal plan leans heavily on fresh plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains and nuts. It also replaces butter with olive oil and limits red meat while emphasizing fish, and it has long been a staple of the diet section in bookstores, as well as fodder for celebrity chat shows.
And the latest study seems to show that there may well be a connection between eating a Mediterranean diet and reducing your chances of the recurrence of breast cancer.
Presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the researchers’ study followed 307 women who had previously faced early-stage breast cancer but who were then in remission. The study split the women into two groups, one of which was given a regular western diet (199 women); the other group was given a Mediterranean diet (108 women).
The women were tracked for three years, and what they found was stunning: all 11 women who had a relapse were eating a Western diet, none of them were on the Mediterranean diet.
Of course, this is a very small sample size. The study must be replicated in order to prove the results conclusive. But if nothing else, it is an undeniably promising first step, providing further evidence that a diet heavy in red meat, refined grains and sugar is not as healthy as a Mediterranean diet.
“The preliminary results of this small study suggest that a Mediterranean diet could lower the risk of breast cancer returning,” said Professor Amie Purushotham, senior clinical adviser for Cancer Research UK. “We'd need much longer follow-up than three years to confirm the diet’s impact.”
But yet further evidence that they are on the right track is a similar study that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine. This study included 4,000 women, and it produced similar results: those participants who followed the Mediterranean diet and switched to olive oil had a 68 percent reduced risk of breast cancer.
The latest work should be taken as something promising if not certain, another building block in the edifice of evidence showing that diet and lifestyle choices can and do have a powerful impact on everything that happens to our bodies--including cancer. This effect, we’re seeing more and more, is not just limited to direct cause and effect linkages like obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The Mediterranean diet is just one more way we can take control of our health and change long-term outcomes for ourselves.