SCIENTIFIC PROOF FOR THE CANCER-FAT LINK

The scientific literature is filled with studies confirming the relationship between fat and cancer. For example:

♦ Breast cancer—From the Journal of the American Medical Association comes a report1 pointing out that information from animal experiments and human correlation studies strongly supports the hypothesis that dietary fat causes breast cancer.

♦ Breast cancer—From the Journal of the National Cancer Institute comes a review2 of information taken from 12 case controlled studies. The authors of the review conclude that the rate of postmenopausal breast cancer could be cut some 25 percent if fat intake was reduced.

♦ Breast and colon cancer—A 1991 study3 reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that “Evidence relating dietary fat to cancer at sites such as the breast and colon is provided by experiments showing that animals fed high-fat diets develop cancer at these sites more readily than do animals fed low-fat diets, and by epidemiological data from different countries showing strong positive correlations between cancer incidence and mortality, and level of dietary fat. . . . The weight of evidence continues to indicate that long-term adherence to a low-fat diet can reduce the risk of some common types of cancer.”

♦ Colon cancer—When the past lifestyles of 906 Chinese patients with colorectal cancer were compared to those of 2,000 controls, researchers found a strong link between intake of saturated fat and the cancer. Those who ate the most saturated fat were 4 times as likely to be stricken as those who ate the least.5

♦ Ovarian cancer—For this study, 6 the dietary histories of 455 Italian women suffering from ovarian cancer were compared to those of 1,385 controls. A high-fat diet was found to be the riskiest, while one filled with green vegetables, whole grains, fish, and carrots offered the most protection.

This evidence associating excessive fat intake to various forms of cancer is overwhelming. On the one hand, that’s bad news. But on the other hand it’s good news, for it points us toward an easy solution. We have the wonderful opportunity to help reduce the incidence of cancer for ourselves, our loved ones, and all of society simply by reducing the amount of fat we take, and keep, in our bodies.

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