One study found that women who consumed more had 21 percent more likely to develop disease
Consuming the toxic metal cadmium in the food we eat may increase the risk of breast cancer, a new Swedish study suggests.
Cadmium, found in many agricultural fertilizers, may reach the earth and water, the researchers said. Some of the main sources of cadmium in the diet are bread and other cereals, potatoes, tubers and vegetables. Once it enters the body, cadmium can mimic the effects of the female hormone estrogen, which may encourage the development of certain breast cancers.
“Modern life has become increasingly dangerous to the health of the breasts,” said Dr. Marissa Weiss, director of radiation oncology of the breast and promoting breast health Lankenau Medical Center in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. “Now the carrots and whole grains, vegetables that are supposed to be healthy for us, have cadmium,” he lamented.
“To help our patients reduce exposure to environmental chemicals (such as cadmium) that may increase your risk of breast cancer, we have to partner with farmers to ensure that food grown in healthy soil without fertilizer filled chemicals, “said Weiss, who is also president and founder of Breastcancer.org. “Eat only real food, whole (unprocessed) remains a sound strategy until we can be sure what is in the package.”
In the Swedish study, researchers followed nearly 56,000 women for over 12 years. The women completed food frequency questionnaires, the researchers used to calculate how much cadmium consumed in the diet. In the follow-up period, there were 2.112 diagnosis of breast cancer, including cancers 1.626 estrogen receptor-positive and 290 estrogen receptor negative.
Women with the highest amount of cadmium in the diet were 21 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than those with the least amount. This risk increased to 27 percent among women who were thin or normal weight, the study showed. The risk was similar, 23 percent for tumors of both estrogen receptor positive and negative.
Women who consumed the highest amounts of whole grains and vegetables had the lowest risk of breast cancer compared with women exposed to dietary cadmium through other foods.
“It is possible that to some extent that healthy diet can counteract the negative effect of cadmium, but our findings should be confirmed in other studies,” he said in a news release from the American Association for Cancer Research (American Association for Cancer Research ) study author Agneta Akesson, associate professor at Karolinska Institute in Sweden. “However, it is important that exposure to cadmium from food is low.”
The findings appear in the March 15 issue of the journal Cancer Research.
Johanna Lampe, a member of the Division of Public Health Sciences Research Center Fred Hutchinson Cancer in Seattle, said the new study adds to a growing body of evidence relating to cadmium in breast cancer risk. “Add another grain of sand,” he said. “We benefit from having more research in this area to better understand these risks.”
The ideal study would use a more objective measure of exposure to cadmium and cadmium levels in urine. “We could study women years before they develop breast cancer and cadmium exposure measured at certain times,” he said.
As regards the reduction of exposure to cadmium, Lampe noted that smoking is the single most important source of exposure to the substance. “Not smoking is a good starting point,” he said.
Dr. Stephanie Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said it is too early to recommend making any dietary changes based on these findings. “I still can not advise limiting the fiber or other things that contain cadmium,” and some of the foods that contain it are part of a healthy diet, emphasized Bernik.
In the study, women are at an increased risk of breast cancer based on their exposure to cadmium. “Obesity nullifies any effect that cadmium might have on breast cancer,” Bernik said, adding that obesity is a big risk factor for breast cancer that exposure to cadmium, because “when people are overweight in your body circulates more estrogen. “
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Tagged as: breast, breast cancer, Cadmium, cancer, Health news, Health Sciences, risk, the diet