Research Projects

Can restriction of carbohydrate and/or omega-6 fatty acids prevent breast cancer development – Dr Annadie Krygsman

Can restriction of carbohydrate and/or omega-6 fatty acids prevent breast cancer development – Dr Annadie Krygsman

Dr Annadie Krygsman

Dept of Physiological Sciences, University of Stellenbosch

Email: akrygsman@sun.ac.za

Dr Annadie Krygsman

Dr Annadie Krygsman

Title of the project

Can simple dietary modification by restriction of carbohydrate and/or omega-6 fatty acids prevent breast cancer development in the urban South African context?

Project Description

The Western diet is well-documented to induce obesity due to the high glycemic load, combined with high saturated fat content, and most recently identified aberrant omega-6:omega-3 fatty acid (FA) ratio. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of hormone-related cancers, such as breast cancer, as excess body fat results in excess production of estrogen in the adipose stromal cells. In South Africa, change to an urban diet has led to an increase in diet-induced obesity in the black female population, and hence an increased incidence of breast cancer. The South African urban diet primarily consists of high glycemic load carbohydrates, such as white bread, pap and rice, accompanied by high saturated fat animal proteins such as chicken and high fat meat cuts. These foods are furthermore cooked in oils which are high in omega-6 FA (sunflower oil) which contributes to the high omega-6:omega-3 which has now been implicated in the pathogenesis of cancer, cardiovascular, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.  Very few studies have investigated the role of omega-3 as opposed to omega-6 FA in the diet, and how dietary modulation of these FA can influence the development of breast cancer. It is not clear which, or whether, single component/s of the Western diet cause  hese maladaptive pathophysiological consequences. Simple reduction of the intake of carbohydrates and/or omega-6 FA, could be a simple way to prevent breast cancer development and slow tumor growth. This study aimed to assess this.

Conferences, abstracts and poster

 

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