Cancer And Diet

As if it wasn't bad enough that the responsibility for coronary heart disease was laid at the doorstep of dietary fat, fat has also become a prime suspect in colon, breast and prostate cancer. There is even less validity to these claims than the fat/heart disease link.

In fact, a number of studies have cast doubt on any dietary fat/cancer association. Recent research on colon cancer found there to be no link between the consumption of red meat or total or saturated fat in either sex with the cancer.3 Another found the existing evidence linking fat and prostate cancer to be inconclusive.4 Likewise, several studies of breast cancer and fat intake have shown little support for a connection.5,6,7.

Recent animal studies indicate that it may be total caloric intake, and not dietary fat, that is the cause of breast cancer.8,9 Tumor development seems to depend on a complex interaction between energy intake (calories), energy expenditure (exercise), energy retained by the body (bodyfat vs. lean body mass) and body size. In fact, one study shows that dietary fat may actually reduce tumor growth.10

Other studies have pointed directly at bodyfat and overall weight, and not dietary fat, as prime contributors to prostate11,12,13 and breast cancer.14,15 With the high carb diet laying down so much more fat than the high fat diet, we might be wiser to begin some study of high carbohydrate diet links with cancer instead of blaming so much on dietary fat.

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