Low Fat Diet Linked to Reduced Risk of Ovarian Cancer

A recent study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that there is a link between a low fat diet high in fruits, vegetables, and grains and a reduced risk of ovarian cancer. The discovery came from the Women's Health Initiative Dietary Modification Randomized Controlled Trial over 8 years. The trial assigned 20,000 women to the diet change group and had 30,000 women maintain their current diet. The diet change group limited their fat intake to only 20 percent of their total calories and had to eat 5 or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables in addition to 6 or more servings of grains.

During the first four years of the trial, researchers discovered no link between diet and ovarian cancer, but during the latter half of the study there was a drop of 40 percent in the risk of ovarian cancer in the low fat group compared to the unchanged diet group.

Women who had the highest fat intake at the start of the trial and had been assigned the diet change were found to have the greatest reduction in risk. Researchers suggest continuing to track participants to see the longer term effects between a low fat diet and appearance of cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, ovarian cancer is the 8th most common cancer among women in the US and nearly 22,500 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year and nearly 15,300 will die from it. Ovarian cancer mostly occurs in older women with two thirds of cases seen in women aged 55 and older.


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