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Int J Breast Cancer. 2013;2013:808317. doi: 10.1155/2013/808317. Epub 2013 Feb 2.

Diet across the Lifespan and the Association with Breast Density in Adulthood.

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  • 1Department of Nutritional Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, 110 Chandlee Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


Studies have shown inconsistent results regarding the association between dietary factors across the lifespan and breast density and breast cancer in women. Breast density is a strong risk factor for breast cancer, and the mechanism through which it influences cancer risk remains unclear. Breast density has been shown to be modifiable, potentially through dietary modifications. The goal of this paper is to summarize the current studies on diet and diet-related factors across all ages, determine which dietary factors show the strongest association with breast density, the most critical age of exposure, and identify future directions. We identified 28 studies, many of which are cross-sectional, and found that the strongest associations are among vitamin D, calcium, dietary fat, and alcohol in premenopausal women. Longitudinal studies with repeated dietary measures as well as the examination of overall diet over time are needed to confirm these findings.

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