Higher fruit intake is associated with lower risk of breast cancer, and food choices made during adolescence may be particularly important. This according to a population-based cohort study of 90,476 premenopausal women aged 27 to 44 years from the Nurses’ Health Study II who completed a questionnaire on diet in 1991 as well as 44,223 of those women who completed a questionnaire about their diet during adolescence in 1998. Researchers found:
• There were 3,235 cases of invasive breast cancer during follow-up to 2013; of these, 1,347 cases were among women who completed a questionnaire about their diet during adolescence.
• Total fruit consumption during adolescence was associated with a lower risk of breast cancer.
• Higher early adulthood intake of fruits and vegetables rich in α-carotene was associated with lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer.
• Associations with breast cancer differed significantly among individual fruits and vegetables: greater consumption of apple, orange, banana, grapes, and kale was significantly associated with a reduced risk.
Citation: Farvid MS, Chen WY, Michels KB, Cho E, Willett WC, Eliassen AH. Fruit and vegetable consumption in adolescence and early adulthood and risk of breast cancer: population based cohort study. [Published online ahead of print May 11, 2016]. BMJ. 2016;353:i2343. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i2343.