A new study in Mexico found that women who eat lots of carbs have double the risk of getting breast cancer when compared to women who consume less starchy and sugary foods. The scientists added that this does not mean women should start gorging themselves on meat, cheese and fats.

The scientists looked at 475 volunteer women who had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. They also looked at 1,391 women who did not have breast cancer (healthy women). The study took place in Mexico City.

The women in the two groups were matched for age, weight, childbirth factors and other factors which can influence breast cancer risk.

Part of the study included completing a comprehensive nutrition questionnaire. The results of the questionnaire were put into four categories, depending on what percentage of their food intake consisted of carbs (carbohydrates).

The researchers found that women whose food intake consisted of 62% or more carbs had a 2.2 higher risk of developing breast cancer than the women whose carb intake was 52% or less.

Dr. Walter Willet, Harvard School of Public Health, who worked in the study with doctors at the Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica, Cuernavaca, Mexico, said "The findings do raise concern about the possible adverse effects of eating lots of carbohydrates." He said people with diabetes, insulin resistance and the ones who are obese are especially at risk.

You can read about this study in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. The study was paid for by the CDC, The Mexican Health Ministry and The American Institute for Cancer Research.

In Mexico there are 38 cases of breast cancer per 100,000 women. In the USA the figure is 132 per 100,000. The number of cases in Mexico is rising.

Written by C. E. Nordqvist, Medical News Today