|Red grapes contain resveratrol.|
It may seem over-done, but resveratrol could be another way to reduce breast cancer risk. In a Swiss study of 369 cases and 602 controls, women in the highest tertile for resveratrol intake had their breast cancer risk cut by 61%! The middle tertile had their risk halved compared to the lowest. There was a significantly lowered risk for resveratrol from grapes - cut by 36-45% - but not for red wine. Alcohol and the general benefits of eating fruit did not influence the results. Resveratrol could also work by changing the expression of genes related to cancer. In women with a high risk of breast cancer, resveratrol increased the expression of a tumour suppressor gene that may be protective.
Carotenoids, found in fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, mangoes and carrots, may also protect against breast cancer. In a study of over 600 women with breast cancer and over 600 without it, higher blood levels of carotenoids were linked with a halved risk of the disease in women with high mammographic density. A high density indicates more connective and epithelial tissue in the breast, and so a much higher risk of cancer. The carotenoid lycopene, found in tomatoes, has been found to increase the expression of tumour suppressing genes, at levels seen as relevant to dietary intake.
Overall, there are many ways that we can reduce our risk of diseases such as breast cancer. Other foods and nutrients that may be protective are coffee, green tea, fermented soy and vitamin D, as detailed on Life Extension.