A low-fat diet may prevent pancreatic cancer in overweight and obese women

According to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers compared cancer incidence rates for 48,835 postmenopausal women assigned to either a low-fat diet, in which fat intake was limited to 20 percent of daily energy, and daily servings of fruits, vegetables, and grains were increased to those in a control group.

Those in the intervention group had fewer cases of pancreatic cancer, compared with the control group. The authors observed more pronounced reductions in cancer risk for intervention participants with higher BMIs.

Researchers suspect increased phytochemical intake, weight reduction, and improvements in insulin resistance, inflammation, and immunity as possible mechanisms for the preventive effect of the low-fat diet.

Jiao L, Chen L, White DL, et al. Low-fat dietary pattern and pancreatic cancer risk in the Women’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification Randomized Controlled Trial. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2018;110:49-56.