Nighttime Snacks May Increase Return Risk of Breast Cancer

As if we needed an extra reason to cut that bad habit! New research by the University of California, San Diego, has found a correlation between evening snacks and recurrence of breast cancer.

According to this study, women who fasted lest then 13 hours every night were facing a 36% increase in their chances of getting breast cancer again. The research done considered over 2,400 women who enrolled in the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living study; they were all between the age of 27 and 70, from from 1995 to 2007. The women in the study were diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, and these results were noticed during the 7 years of follow up after their cancer was gone.

breast cancer

The aim of the original study was to show that a diet high in fruits and vegetables could reduce the risk of cancer recurrence in the same site or its development in a new place. And while no results supported this claim, a link was found between nighttime fasting and the increased risk of cancer recurrence. Experts are saying that this probability is far from proven, and that the theories behind this link are many.

It has been shown that prolonged nighttime fasting could protect against raised glucose levels, inflammations, and weight gain, and these have been linked to poor cancer outcomes. Some researchers think that maybe the sugar circulating in the blood could fuel cancer tumors, while others say the shorter sleep periods could be increasing the risk. But these are mere speculations till now.

The results of the study did show that those who fasted for longer times lowered their hemoglobin A1C levels and experienced better sleep. Eating anything with more than 25 calories after 8 p.m. was considered to break the fast. Moreover, this study did not show any effect on the risk of death from cancer. So until further research confirms these results, it is better to be safe than sorry, ladies!