Women who fast for at least 12 hours overnight—from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., for example—may reduce their risk of breast cancer, according to research in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention and presented at the American Association of Cancer Research’s annual meeting in Philadelphia.
They also reduced their blood glucose, which helps fight against diabetes. And some forms of breast cancer, especially triple-negative, are linked to insulin resistance, including high glucose.
And get this: Each three-hour increase in nighttime fasting was associated with a 4 percent lower glucose level after eating, regardless of how much the women ate.
“The dietary advice for cancer prevention usually focuses on limiting consumption of red meat, alcohol and refined grains while increasing plant-based foods,” said co-author Ruth Patterson, PhD, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center associate director for population sciences and program leader of the cancer prevention program. “New evidence suggests that when and how often people eat can also play a role in cancer risk.”
Women in the study reported eating five times per day with a mean nighttime fasting of 12 hours. Those who reported longer fast durations also indicated they consumed fewer calories per day, ate fewer calories after 10 p.m. and had fewer eating episodes.
Source: News release from the American Association of Cancer Research