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Long night fasting may cut risk of breast cancer recurrence

IANS  |  New York 

Breast survivors can cut their risk of the deadly disease from recurring by fasting for longer at night, says a new research.

The risk of recurrence in those who fought the disease may be linked to how many hours they avoid food for at night.

The findings showed that a short 'night fast' of less than 13 hours led to a 36 percent greater chance of tumours returning in women treated for early-stage breast

"Our study introduces a novel dietary intervention strategy and indicates that prolonging the length of the nightly fasting interval could be a simple and feasible strategy to reduce breast recurrence," said lead author Catherine Marinac, doctoral candidate at University of California, San Diego in US.

Also, going to bed too soon after eating may increase the risk of breast cancer coming back.

A longer nightly fasting interval can significantly lower the concentrations of HbA1c (Glycated hemoglobin) and longer duration of nighttime sleeping.

Interventions to prolong the nightly fasting interval could also potentially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other cancers.

However, shorter fasting was not associated with a higher risk for death from breast cancer or from any other causes.

For the study, published online by JAMA Oncology, the team collected data on 2,413 women with early breast cancer who participated in the Women's Healthy Eating and Living study, which looked at the effects of diet on women's health.

Between 1995 and 2007, that is, during an average of 7.3 years of follow-up, the researchers looked at invasive breast cancer recurrence and new primary breast tumors.

Women who participated in the study were of an average age of 52.4 years and kept average fasting duration of 12.5 hours per night.

The findings from this study have broad and significant implications for public health. Randomised trials are needed to adequately test whether prolonging the nightly fasting interval can reduce the risk of chronic disease," the researchers concluded.

First Published: Fri, April 01 2016. 12:38 IST