In one of the largest sweeping study on breast cancer, investigators from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have reported that African American women who consume more vegetables are less likely to develop estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer than women with low vegetable intake. The study results, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, were based on data from the Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS), a large follow-up study of 59,000 African American women from across the U.S. conducted by investigators at the Slone Epidemiology Center since 1995. The incidence of ER-/PR- breast cancer was 43 percent lower among women consuming at least two vegetables per day compared with women who ate fewer than four vegetables per week. African American women are more likely than white women to be diagnosed with estrogen receptor-negative tumors, which have a poorer prognosis than estrogen receptor-positive tumors.
According to the BUSM researchers, specific types of vegetables like cruciferous vegetables may play a greater role in reducing breast cancer risk. These include broccoli, mustard and collard greens, and cabbage, and are sources of glucosinolates, which may play a role in preventing the development of breast cancer through their effects on both estrogen metabolism and detoxification enzymes. The researchers also observed evidence suggesting that increased carrot consumption may be associated with lower risk of breast cancer. Carrots are rich sources of carotenoids, which may reduce cancer risk through their antioxidant properties.
Funding for this study was provided by the National Cancer Institute.
The above story is based on materials provided by Boston University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.