Study: Fiber Consumption Linked to Lower Breast Cancer Risk

In Clinical Studies News by Barbara Jacoby

By: Jill Murphy, Assistant Editor


Consuming a diet high in fiber was linked with a reduced incidence of breast cancer in an evaluation of all relevant studies, according to findings published in CANCER.1

The MEDLINE and Excerpta Medica databases were searched throughout July 2019 for prospective studies that reported on the association between fiber consumption and incident breast cancer. The pooled relative risk and 95% confidence intervals were estimated comparing the highest versus lowest category of total and types of fiber consumption using a random-effects meta-analysis.2

Seventeen cohort trials, 2 nested case-control trials, and 1 clinical trial were identified, showing that total fiber consumption was associated with an 8% lower risk of breast cancer. Soluble fiber was found to be suggestively inversely associated with the risk of breast cancer. In addition, higher total fiber intake was associated with a lower risk of both premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancers and pooled relative risk, according to the study authors.2

The researchers observed a nonsignificant inverse association between intake of total fiber and risk of both estrogen and progesterone receptor-positive and estrogen and progesterone receptor-negative breast cancers.2

A random effects meta-analysis of prospective observational studies demonstrated that high total fiber consumption was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer, according to the study authors. This finding was consistent for soluble fiber as well as for women with premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer.2

“Our study contributes to the evidence that lifestyle factors, such as modifiable dietary practices, may affect breast cancer risk,” said study author Maryam Farvid, PhD, in a press release. “Our findings provide research evidence supporting the American Cancer Society dietary guidelines, emphasizing the importance of a diet rich in fiber, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.”1


  1. Fiber consumption linked to lower breast cancer risk. Wiley. Published April 6, 2020. Accessed April 8, 2020.
  2. Farvid MS, Spence ND, Holmes MD, Barnett JB. Fiber consumption and breast cancer incidence: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. ACS Journals. April 6, 2020.