Senior author: Prof Walter Willett
Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health,
MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?
Dr. Farvid: Compared to women who had one serving per week red meat, those who consumed 1.5 serving per day red meat had a 22 percent higher risk of breast cancer. Red meat intake is associated with breast cancer risk in a dose-response manner. Each additional serving/day increase in total red meat was associated with a 13% increase in risk of breast cancer. Furthermore, each additional serving/day of poultry was associated with a 25% lower risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Substituting one serving/day of legumes for one serving/day of red meat was associated with a 15% lower risk of breast cancer, substituting one serving/day of poultry for one serving/day of red meat was associated with a 17% lower risk of breast cancer overall, and substituting one serving/day of combined legumes, nuts, poultry, and fish for one serving/day of red meat was associated with a 14% lower risk of breast cancer.
MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Farvid: Cutting down processed meat, limiting intake of red meat, and substituting a combination of poultry, fish, legumes, and nuts as protein sources for red meat during early life seems beneficial for the prevention of breast cancer.
MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Farvid: Most of the evidence has been based on diet during midlife and later and data on early adulthood diet and breast cancer are limited. Further study of the relation between early adult diet and risk of breast cancer is needed.