The question of whether diet can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer has been somewhat controversial. A new analysis of 18 studies that includes more than 400,000 people shows that one dietary pattern seems to be linked to a higher risk of this disease. Researchers compared a typical Western diet with refined grains and lots of meat to a prudent diet rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains. They also examined alcohol consumption. Women who drank more alcohol increased their risk of breast cancer by about 20 percent compared to those who drink none. The association with diet was less striking: women who came closest to a prudent diet lowered their risk by about 11 percent compared to those eating a more typical Western diet.
[American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online March 10, 2010]