Breast cancer prevention in premenopausal women: role of the Mediterranean diet and its components.
Nutr Res Rev. 2019 Oct 1:1-14. Epub 2019 Oct 1. PMID: 31571551
Breast cancer (BC) is a growing public health concern in most developed and developing countries. Since an increasing number of patients with BC are diagnosed before the menopause and premenopausal women show a more aggressive phenotype, there is consistent interest in promoting prevention strategies in order to reduce the incidence of BC in the premenopause. The Mediterranean diet (MD) has been reported to have beneficial effect in terms of cancer prevention. This healthy dietary pattern consists primarily of foods having important antioxidant properties along with a favourable fatty acid profile, all associated with a reduced risk of cancer. Due to the large variability in study subject characteristics, the protective role of the MD on BC still remains controversial and studies that have investigated the association between adherence to the MD and risk of BC in premenopausal women are fewer than those in postmenopausal women. In addition, the possibility that the beneficial effects of the MD are due to a single component or might more probably derive from the synergic effects of all components of the MD remains a scantly explored field. Considering the increased risk of recurrence and mortality rate of BC in premenopausal women as compared with postmenopausal women, the aim of the present report is to provide a general overview of the current evidence on the relationship between BC and the MD specifically in premenopausal women, and to emphasise the potential role of the MD as an effective measure to reduce the risk of developing BC in premenopausal women.