Fasting at Night May Help Lower Breast Cancer Risk

Statistics indicate that breast cancer is the leading cause of death in developing countries and the second most prevalent cause of cancer death in developed countries. However, a new study published in the online journal JAMA Oncology suggests that fasting for more than thirteen hours every night could help reduce the recurrence of diseases in women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer.   

To come to this conclusion, a team of researchers, led by Ruth E. Patterson, of the University of California-San Diego analyzed data from 2,413 women registered in the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living study between 1995 and 2007. The median age of the women was 52.4 years. All the women were diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, and none had diabetes. On average, each woman slept for 12.5 every night. breast_cancer

Patterson and her team concentrated on the recurrence of invasive breast cancer and new tumors for a follow-up period of 7.3 years.

The analysis established that women who fasted for less than 13 hours each night had a 36% higher risk of breast cancer recurrence, in comparison to their counterparts who fasted for thirteen hours or more.

Explaining the findings, Patterson says that women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer and who fasted for more hours during the night seemed to have lower levels of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c). HbA1c is created when the hemoglobin combines with glucose in the blood. The higher the level of HbA1c in the blood, the greater the risk of developing cancer-related complications.

Since fasting at night seems to help control HbA1c concentrations and sleep, the researchers suggest that, it could as well have a positive impact on the intensity of breast cancer. Additionally, fasting for longer at night may help lessen the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease as well as other types of cancer.

The authors of this study point out that their findings introduce a new way to deal with early stage breast cancer. They also add that longer nightly fasting could be a straightforward and practical approach to lower the recurrence of breast cancer. Most often, doctors recommend a healthy diet to reduce the effects of breast cancer. Thus, Patterson’s study brings in a new twist of dealing with the disease.

In the United States alone, more than 224, 147 women are diagnosed with cancer every year with over 41,150 of them succumbing to the disease. Patterson concludes that such-like studies need to be conducted in the future with an aim of finding a lasting solution to breast cancer.