Research: DE STEFANI and colleagues

Listed in Issue 26


DE STEFANI and colleagues, Registro Nacional de Cancer, Montevideo, Uruguay studied whether dietary fibre modified breast cancer risk.



The authors conducted a case-control study with 351 newly diagnosed patients with breast cancer and 356 hospitalised controls in Uruguay. Dietary patterns were assessed using a food questionnaire of 64 items, enabling the calculation of total energy intake.


following adjustment for potential confounders including age, residence, family history of breast cancer, prior history of benign breast disease, parity, total energy, red meat, lutein/zeaxanthin and quercetin intake and menopausal status, dietary fibre and total nonstarch polysaccharides were associated with a strong reduction in risk of breast cancer Odds Ratio (OR) for upper quartile of total dietary fibre = 0.51. This inverse association between intake of dietary fibre and reduction in breast cancer risk was observed in pre- and post-menopausal women and was similar for soluble and insoluble fibre. Furthermore, dietary fibre showed a strong joint effect with fat, quercetin and lutein/zeaxanthin.



De Stefani E et al. Dietary fiber and risk of breast cancer: a case-control study in Uruguay. Nutr Cancer. 28(1): 14-9. 1997.


All the above research demonstrates strong evidence that antioxidants play a major role in the reduction of risk, prevention and even upon tumour incidence and survival of certain cancers. Furthermore, the evidence demonstrates the mode of action of certain antioxidants, namely that vitamin E induces apoptosis in breast cancer and prostate cancer cells.

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