Fatty food during puberty can cause breast cancer

Researchers and scientists have long been aware that a diet heavy in fatty foods during a child’s formative years greatly increases the risk of obesity in later life.  However, current research has shown that a fatty diet during puberty may also be a significant factor in the risk of breast cancer in women.

A recent study conducted by the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Center at Michigan State University indicates that a high-fat diet during the crucial years of puberty may lead to the production of inflammatory substances in the mammary glands of adults, and these in turn can lead to malignancies.

These findings are a progression from other research into the effect of the hormone progesterone, which also triggers inflammation in the mammary glands.  The effects of progesterone and those of a fatty diet are similar; both cause inflammation that can lead to the growth of cancer.

Expanding the MSU study, director Sandra Haslam, professor of physiology, and Richard Schwartz, an associate dean in the College of Natural Science and professor of microbiology, will lead another team of researchers.

This continuing study will analyze the effects of high-fat diet and the relationship to breast cancer in adult females.  The researchers are looking at environmental factors that may predispose women to the disease. The team led by Haslam and Schwartz will also be looking for possible preventive measures including anti-inflammation substances that could reduce or reverse the effects of a fatty diet.

In addition to their findings on cause and effect of various environmental factors, the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program will also strive to expand the general awareness of these factors by making this ongoing research readily available to the public.

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