Peanut butter could reduce breast cancer risk - study

Eating peanut butter twice each week reduces breast cancer risk by 39 per cent.
Photo / Thinkstock
Eating peanut butter twice each week reduces breast cancer risk by 39 per cent. Photo / Thinkstock

Eating peanut butter could reduce a woman's risk of breast cancer, new research suggests.

Teenage girls who regularly eat peanuts are 39 per cent less likely to develop benign breast disease by the age of 30.

Some benign breast diseases, while noncancerous, increases the risk of breast cancer later in life.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Harvard Medical School found the link was particularly strong in girls who ate peanuts when they were between the ages of nine and 15.

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

The researchers studied 9,039 U.S. girls between 1996 and 2001, and then again between 2005 and 2010 when they were 18 to 30-years-old.

They found that the participants who ate peanut butter or nuts twice each week were 39 per cent less likely to develop benign breast disease than those who never ate them.

The study's findings also suggest that beans, lentils, soybeans and corn also may help prevent benign breast disease, but consumption of these foods was much lower in these girls meaning the evidence was weaker.

Past studies have linked peanut butter and nut and vegetable fat consumption to a lower risk of benign breast disease.

However, participants in those studies were asked to recall their teenage food intake years later.

This new study is the first to use reports made during adolescence with continued follow-ups.

About 80 per cent of all breast lumps are benign, or noncancerous, and they are considered to be benign breast diseases.

These lumps tend to be moveable and smooth and are often found in both breasts.

They can be caused by benign breast changes, breast infections or injury and medications such as birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy.

Previous research by the Shanghai Cancer Institute suggested that eating peanuts - and other foods rich in Vitamin E - could cut the risk of liver cancer.

It also found that Vitamin-E rich foods, such as peanuts, can protect against heart disease and eye damage in old age.

- DAILY MAIL

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