High Glycemic Diet Increases Risk for Breast Cancer

A recent paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates an increased risk of breast cancer when consuming a diet with a higher glycemic index.(1) This results from a statistical analysis of the 8926 Italian women who took part in the Hormones and Diet in the Etiology of Breast Tumors Study (ORDET Study). These women were followed for an average of 11.5 years. In other words, following a low glycemic carbohydrate balanced eating prgram, like our First Line Therapy program, you will not only improve your body composition, but you will potentially lower your risk of breast cancer. 

Glycemic index is a measure of how much elevation of blood sugar occurs after eating a given food in a 50 gm portion, as compared to ingesting poor sugar (glucose), which is given a value of 100.  For this study, a glycemic index of up to 57 was considered low and above 57 was considered high.

This analysis of this prospective study found that women with the highest glycemic diet had significantly higher risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest glycemic diet. This was especially the case in pre-menopausal women and in those with a BMI of less than 25 (i.e., those women who were not obese). In the discussion section the researchers noted that in women who are overweight, the metabolic effects of a high glycemic diet (like higher insulin levels) are already present and a high glycemic diet would not add further risk.

1. Sieri S, Pala V, Brighenti F, et al. Dietary glycemic index, glycemic load, and the risk of breast cancer in an Italian prospective cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007; 86:1160-6.