Study Led by Georgetown University Researchers Finds High-Fat Diet May Increase Breast Cancer Risk in Offspring

A new study led by researchers at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., find that a diet high in fat content may increase breast cancer risk, not only for women with a high fat diet but for future generations of that woman’s offspring.

Using mice, researchers found that if the animals were switched to a high fat diet in the second trimester of their pregnancies, an increase in breast cancer risk was observed in their daughter, granddaughters, and great granddaughters.

Leena Hilakivi-Clarke, a professor of oncology at Georgetown University and the lead author of the study, stated that “studies have shown that pregnant women consume more fats than non-pregnant women. Of the 1.7 million new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in 2012, 90 percent have no known causes. Putting these facts, and our finding, together really does give food for thought.”

Dr. Hilakivi-Clarke holds a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and a Ph.D. in psychology and physiology from the University of Helsinki in Finland.

The study, “Maternal Intake of High n-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Diet During Pregnancy Causes Transgenerational Increase in Mammary Cancer Risk in Mice,” was published on the website of the journal Breast Cancer Research. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/StudyWomen's Studies


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