Eating white bread and pasta could increase risk of breast cancer returning in patients
Starch-rich diet linked to new tumours developingRefined carbohydrates, such as white breads and white pasta, contain more starch than whole grains
Eating cereal, bread and potatoes may boost the risk of breast cancer recurrence say scientists
Eating plenty of cereal, bread and potatoes may boost the risk of breast cancer recurring in survivors, say scientists.
A study found that former sufferers who followed a starch-rich diet were more likely to develop tumours compared to those who reduced their intake.
Researchers are unable to explain the trend but it is believed that increased insulin levels, sparked by refined carbohydrates, could stimulate the growth of cancerous cells.
A team from University of California, San Diego, studied the diets of 2,651 breast cancer survivors over 12 months.
They found that carbohydrates in general – especially starches – were linked to the risk of new tumours developing.
The rate of recurrence was 14.2 per cent among women who increased their starch intake while it was 9.7 per cent for those who decreased their consumption.
Lead researcher Jennifer Emond said: “The results show that it”s not just overall carbohydrates, but particularly starch.
“Women who increased their starch intake over one year were at a much likelier risk for recurring.”
At the start, the women”s carbohydrate intake was 233g per day.
Womenwhose cancer recurred increased their carbohydrate by 2.3g per day during the first year, while those who did not see a recurrence reduced their intake by 2.7g.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK affecting about 46,000 women every year
Carbohydrates are the most important fuel for muscles, and an essential energy source for the brain and central nervous system, but some can be healthier than others.
Refined carbohydrates, such as white breads and white pasta, contain more starch than whole grains.
Professor Emond added: “We didn”t pinpoint the exact foods.”
Marji McCullough from the American Cancer Society said the findings, presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in Texas, are important for breast cancer survivors who want to know know how to lower their risk of recurrence.
However she added that it is too early to advise making dietary changes and further research is need. She told MSN: “Dietary recommendations change when several studies show the same thing.”
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK affecting about 46,000 women every year.