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Early evening meal protects against cancer

Early evening meal protects against cancer
The more time there is between the last meal you use during a day, and the moment you go to sleep, the smaller your chance of two of the most common forms of cancer - prostate cancer (in men) and breast cancer (in women). Spanish researchers report this in the International Journal of Cancer.

The researchers, who were affiliated with the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, studied 621 men with prostate cancer and 1205 women with breast cancer. They compared their eating habits with those of about equally large groups of men and women without cancer.

The more time there was between the time of supper and the time at which the study participants went to sleep, the smaller their chance of prostate and breast cancer. The study participants in whom this time interval was 2 hours had 16 and 26 fewer percent chance of prostate and breast cancer than the study participants who went to sleep right after dinner.

Early evening meal protects against cancer

Early evening meal protects against cancer

"Adherence to a more diurnal eating pattern, and specifically an early supper and a long interval between last meal and sleep were associated with a lower breast and prostate cancer risk, stressing the importance of evaluating circadian rhythms in diet and cancer studies and revisiting recommendations for prevention", the researchers summarize.

"The implications of these findings refer both to research and to public health. Research on nutrition has focused on quantity, type of foods and also on patterns of diet. There has been minimal research on timing of eating patterns and this has mainly focused on the evaluation of eating restriction during fasting."

"It is necessary to further evaluate in humans the existing evidence from animal experiments showing that timing of eating has profound implications on metabolism of foods and on health."

"Public health implications are well recognized as is the lack of evidence based research on several aspects of recommendations of diet, for example, the beneficial effect of having breakfast or of having few or many meals during the day."

"If these findings are confirmed they will have profound implications on recommendations for the timing of the last main meal, particularly for cultures such as those in southern Europe were supper is late."

Int J Cancer. 2018 Jul 17. doi: 10.1002/ijc.31649. [Epub ahead of print].

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