Breast Cancer Survival & Trans Fat

Breast Cancer Survival & Trans Fat
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Breast cancer survivors may reduce their chances of survival if they eat too much trans fat, found primarily in the American diet in junk food and animal products.

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“With a growing number of breast cancer survivors, there is tremendous interest in establishing whether changes in lifestyle influence breast cancer outcome.” So started the introduction of this 2011 study, suggesting two things about our diet can significantly alter the survival of women with breast cancer.

We talked about one already: saturated fat—increasing one’s risk of dying 41%, and what foods to avoid. The second factor was even more significant: trans fat—increasing one’s risk of dying 78% after diagnosis, within a seven-year period. How do we avoid that stuff?

Once again, cakes, cookies, and animal products top the list. And then, it’s basically margarine, French fries, potato chips, and Crisco. So, junk food and animal products may be contributing to a 78% increase in mortality in women already burdened with breast cancer.

As the federal 2010 Dietary Guidelines concluded for everyone, not just those with cancer, Americans should keep their intake of trans fatty acids as low as possible.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

“With a growing number of breast cancer survivors, there is tremendous interest in establishing whether changes in lifestyle influence breast cancer outcome.” So started the introduction of this 2011 study, suggesting two things about our diet can significantly alter the survival of women with breast cancer.

We talked about one already: saturated fat—increasing one’s risk of dying 41%, and what foods to avoid. The second factor was even more significant: trans fat—increasing one’s risk of dying 78% after diagnosis, within a seven-year period. How do we avoid that stuff?

Once again, cakes, cookies, and animal products top the list. And then, it’s basically margarine, French fries, potato chips, and Crisco. So, junk food and animal products may be contributing to a 78% increase in mortality in women already burdened with breast cancer.

As the federal 2010 Dietary Guidelines concluded for everyone, not just those with cancer, Americans should keep their intake of trans fatty acids as low as possible.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to artist in doing nothing / flickr

Doctor's Note

For the role of saturated fat in breast cancer survival, see Breast Cancer Survival, Butterfat, and Chicken. When the dietary guidelines recommend keeping intake of trans fat as low as possible, what does that mean on a practical level? See Good, Great, Bad, & Killer Fats, and Trans Fat, Saturated Fat and Cholesterol: Tolerable Upper Intake of Zero. Nice to see public health trump corporate interests. See Dietary Guidelines: USDA Conflicts of Interest for one of my other videos on the guidelines

Also be sure to check out my associated blog posts: Breast Cancer Survival and SoyHealth Food Store Advice: Often Worthless or WorstMushrooms for Breast Cancer PreventionFlax and Breast Cancer Survival; and Trans Fat in Animal Fat.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

10 responses to “Breast Cancer Survival & Trans Fat

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  1. For the role of saturated fat in breast cancer survival, see yesterday’s video. When the dietary guidelines recommend keeping intake of trans fat as low as possible, what does that mean on a practical level? See Good, Great, Bad & Killer Fats and Trans Fat, Saturated Fat and Cholesterol: Tolerable Upper Intake of Zero. Nice to see public health trump corporate interests. See Dietary Guidelines: USDA Conflicts of Interest for one of 25 videos I have on the guidelines. And if that isn’t enough, there are hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects.




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    1. luvmy2pugs:  I’m late to this discussion, but I wanted to directly reply to your question. 

      “wilscot”‘s answer was so helpful to me, I”m sure you found it helpful also.  However, Dr. Greger does have quite a few videos that specifically deal with soy and were also extremely helpful.  There may even be a blog or two on the subject. 

      There are more videos than I want to list here, but I highly recommend that you use the search box at the top right of the screen to see what Dr. Greger has already done on the subject. 

      Good luck.




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  2. Dr Greger would be able to provide a more expert reply regarding soy, but in the meantime I’ll make a few comments:
    Mercola is not well respected by the scientific or medical community and has got into trouble in the past for making inflated claims. He is against soy for the following reasons:
    – Most of it is GM – Response: if this bothers you choose organic
    – it has goitrogens which interfere with thyroid function – Response: my understanding is that this is only a problem in people who are low in iodine – so just make sure you are getting enough of this nutrient
    – it is estrogenic – Reponse: the science on this issue is so much more complex than Mercola indicates. On balance, soy isoflavones appear to be selective estrogen receptor modulators that may reduce estrogen levels where this is helpful (cancer) and boost them where helpful (bones and cognitive function). Three recent studies on breast cancer survivors have all found that soy intake was associated with better survival – that is the just about the best evidence you are going to get of its safety.
    – phytic acid – lots of high fibre whole foods have phytic acid. It can reduce nutrient absorption, but it is also thought to be a powerful antioxidant. Just make sure you eat a high nutrient density diet, and the phytic acid won’t be a significant problem and may be of benefit.
    – soy products contain MSG – well – check the labels – I can’t say I have ever seen this.
    There is a lot of web based paranoia demonising soy – it’s just a food, and like all foods has some pros and cons, but unlike some foods, the pros outweigh the cons.




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  3. This is very helpful. I have only recently taken interest in nutrition and started following a whole, plant based diet two months ago. Despite being normal weight, my blood pressure was terrible prior to trying the new diet. I used to believe that veganism was less healthy and that soy was terrible for you. Only recently have my eyes opened. Thanks to the diet changes my blood pressure is normal now despite my awful genes(something I thought I couldn’t control, both parents had high BP). That tells me I’m on the right path, but soy has been rough to figure out! Again, thanks for the info.




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