Cutting down calorie consumption for two days a week can considerably reduce the risk of breast cancer in women, finds a recent study.
The Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention study found that following a low-calorie diet for two days per week or a 5:2 diet can lead to cancer-preventing changes in the breast tissue.
The study saw overweight pre-menopausal women at high risk of breast cancer follow the 2-Day Diet, developed by research dietitian Dr Michelle Harvie and researcher Tony Howell, for one month. The diet features two days on a low-carb, low-calorie diet, with the remaining five days being spent on a healthy, Mediterranean-style diet.
Researchers took breast biopsies on 20 women before and after the four-week trial and found that on average, women lost around half a stone in weight, with 55% of those taking part experiencing changes in their breast cells.
The changes involved the production of proteins that are known to make the cells more stable and less likely to become damaged. Therefore, experts said, the risk of developing breast cancer is reduced.
Dr Harvie noted that further research would need to be done to confirm how the diet could prevent breast cancer, adding “There are a number of reasons why some of the women didn’t experience changes in the breast; for example, they may have needed to spend a longer period of time on the diet or perhaps follow a different version of The 2-Day Diet.”
The study was published in Breast Cancer Research.