Reducing fat consumption after menopause offers most women little if any protection against breast cancer or several other diseases, according to three reports from a massive prevention trial. No significant differences in rates of colorectal cancer, heart disease, or stroke emerged during the trial.
But "little snippets of information" from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) trial suggest that cutting back on fats may protect some women from breast cancer, says epidemiologist and study investigator Shirley Beresford of the University of Washington in Seattle. She was among nearly 50 investigators who worked on the trial.
For example, one segment of the new data suggests that switching and sticking closely to a low-fat diet prevents breast tumors in women who previously ate especially large amounts of fat. People with "bad diets" have the most to gain, says epidemiologist Barbara Howard of the nonprofit MedStar Research Institute in Hyattsville, Md., another of the tri