Intermittent Dieting

Are you frustrated because you can’t stay on your diet all the time? Well here’s a good reason to keep doing what you’re doing. A new study says periodically cutting calories may lower the risk of developing breast cancer better than full-time dieting.

Three sets of mice predisposed to developing breast tumours were put on different diets — unlimited eating, intermittently cutting calories by 25 per cent, or permanently reducing caloric intake 25 per cent.

Those on the intermittent diet fared best, with only nine per cent developing mammary tumours.

That compares to 35 per cent of those chronically restricted and 71 per cent of those that ate all they wanted.

Researchers say this study contributes to accumulating evidence that caloric restriction acts by altering hormone levels. In this case, it reduced the level of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor 1, which is linked to breast cancer. They think lower levels of insulin in particular may be protective.

The study is published in Cancer Prevention Research.

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