Not all Mediterranean diets prevent breast cancer

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By Jimmy Downs

Friday Oct 12, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- Eating a Mediterranean diet may lower the risk of developing breast cancer, some studies suggest.  But a new study in Annals of Epidemiology suggests it depends on what kind of Mediterranean diet you use.

The study led by F. Bessaoud of Registre des Tumeurs de l'Hérault-Parc Euromédecine Bâtiment Recherche, Montpellier Cedex 5, France and colleagues conducted the case-control study found that overall, Mediterranean diet was not associated with risk of breast cancer.

However, the researchers found a Mediterranean diet with more fish or fish type of Mediterranean diet was associated with lower risk of breast cancer while the "raw vegetables and olive oil" type of Mediterranean diet was not.

The researchers found the associations using statistical analysis methods called principal component analysis and variable clustering.  They found a Mediterranean diet with high amounts of raw vegetables and olive oil actually may increase risk of breast cancer by 22 percent while a diet with high amounts of fish was associated with 23 percent reduced risk.

Additionally, they found "meat/alcohol" pattern above a threshold can increase breast cancer risk by 156 percent while the overall Western diet was associated with a insignificantly increased risk of breast cancer.

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