Older studies in rats and mice have found that rodents on a high fat diet develop more tumors than those on a low fat diet.
More recently, studies in humans have suggested that following a low fat dietary plan could improve the health and lifespan of women who have received a diagnosis of breast cancer.
Spurred by this existing research, Ross Prentice, Ph.D. — a member of the Cancer Prevention and Biostatistics programs at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle, WA — and colleagues at the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) set out to further examine the benefits of a low fat diet for postmenopausal women.
Specifically, the scientists followed almost 50,000 postmenopausal women over 2 decades, in an effort to determine the effects of a low fat diet on breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and heart disease risk.
Prentice and the team have published their findings in The Journal of Nutrition.