Is Your Diet Improving Your Health? Or is it Increasing Your Risk of Breast Cancer?

New research from the European Perspective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study has determined a link between pro-inflammatory diets and the development of breast cancer. This study followed over 300,000 women for 14 years, of which about 13,000 developed breast cancer. Most studies prior to this have only looked at single nutrients or foods. Assessing the whole diet rather than just single nutrients or foods allowed the researchers in the study to make more accurate health conclusions. Prior to this study, the only dietary component found to be strongly associated with breast cancer is alcohol (stay tuned for a future post on alcohol and breast cancer). The dietary inflammatory potential was characterized by an inflammatory score of the diet (ISD) based on the participant’s reported intake of 27 foods. Women with the highest ISD number had a greater risk of developing breast cancer when compared with women with lower ISD numbers. This risk was independent of hormone receptor subtype.

Low-grade, chronic inflammation is a well-established risk factor in the development of many cancers and diet can contribute to the state of inflammation. Other causes of inflammation include being overweight or obese, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, and having high blood pressure. Even if you don’t have any of these conditions, you may still have systemic inflammation. Some of the signs of inflammation are poor digestion, seasonal allergies, joint pain, fatigue, eczema, and brain fog. Food allergies are a big contributor to the inflammatory process. Many people have food allergies and do not know it, as the body gets used to them; like a tight belt or socks, and you do not feel the symptoms, yet they are still there. Having multiple factors contributing to systemic inflammation can create a perfect storm leading to the development of cancer. As a Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Medicine and working with cancer patients for 20 years, I have seen first-hand that cancer is a multifactorial disease. Inflammation is also multifactorial. Food allergies are a big contributing factor and we test all our patients for 96 food allergens.

We utilize individualized therapies based on your needs because each person and cancer are different. We work with cancer patients to identify causative factors, then provide support as they go through their treatments with well-researched protocols to reduce side effects that won’t interfere with their treatments. We tie up circulating tumor cells to reduce the risk of metastasis, and help cancer patients recover from their treatments. In the recovery phase, we work with patients to help them with short and long-term side effects from radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery. We use protocols to decrease recurrence risk if they no longer have evidence of disease. For patients with residual disease after treatment, we support them in their recovery, improve their quality of life, and work to slow down the cancer process. 

We tell every patient that they are the only person in charge of their health. Taking proactive steps to change your diet and remove the inflammatory foods will benefit everyone. We use a computerized diet therapy program that individualizes dietary recommendations for each person. This program uses your specific blood type, height, weight, and diagnosis and food allergies, each patient gets a printout of about 300 different foods that are color-coded to help each person know what individual foods are good for them and which foods to stay away from. We work with cancer patients, family members of cancer patients, and individuals looking to reduce their risk of cancer.  If you would like to reduce your risks give us a call.

Yours in health,

Cynthia Bye, ND, FABNO

Brooks, M. (2021, June 11). Pro-inflammatory Diet Tied to Increased Risk of Breast Cancer. Medscape.