A new study has found that women can drastically reduce their chance of developing breast cancer by eating all their meals within an eight-hour window. Limiting when they ate rather than what they ate can “radically” decrease the tumor growth even when the food is rich in fat.

According to breastcancer.org, breast cancer is a commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. Approximately 1 in 8 women will get invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. The present research has highlighted the link between obesity presence and a rise in developing certain types of cancer. The risk of breast cancer is mainly high in women who are obese and have been through menopause. Because of this reason, doctors may instruct some women to implement different weight loss strategies to avoid tumor growth.

A current new study recommends that rather than changing what they eat to avoid the development of the tumor, an individual may benefit from just scheduling their meals in a different way. The study’s lead researcher Manasi Das, Ph.D., from the University of California in San Diego stated that improving the metabolic health of postmenopausal women with obesity might alleviate their breast cancer risk.

Das and colleagues, who performed their study in mouse models, have found that time-restricted eating might halt tumor growth. Additionally, they have exposed some mechanisms that might clarify the association between cancer and obesity. The researchers presented their findings at ENDO 2019, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, which took place in New Orleans, LA.

The researchers carried out three experiments. In these studies, mice had no ovaries in order to simulate the postmenopausal state.

In the first study, mice were made overweight by allowing them to eat a 60 percent high-fat diet for 10 weeks and they were separated into two groups. One group had 8-hour access to food at night whereas the other had 24-hour access to food. The mice with obesity were linked with a group of mice fed a low-fat diet 24 hours a day. Both the group mice were injected with breast cancer cells three weeks after the start of the time restricted feeding schedule, and tumor growth was measured intermittently.

In the second study, mice that were genetically altered to get spontaneous breast cancer were separated into two groups. One group got a high-fat diet 24 hours a day, and the other group had a time-restricted high-fat diet. Tumour growth was measured intermittently by ultrasound imaging and also manually with the help of calipers. Hyperinsulinemia (insulin resistance) linked with obesity, insulin dependency of tumor growth and a cancer-promoting factor were studied either by increasing insulin with the use of an implanted insulin pump or by decreasing insulin secretion with the use of the agent diazoxide.

For the third study, in the first method, few mice given a low-fat diet were implanted with an insulin pump, whereas others got saline as a control. In a second method, the mice on the high-fat diet had their insulin levels decreased with the addition of diazoxide to their feed. Mice those on the high-fat diet without diazoxide were compared, and tumor growth was analyzed over time.

In these studies, time-restricted eating had an intense effect, delaying the growth of tumors, and decreasing tumor growth in overweight mice fed a high-fat diet to levels seen in lean mice. Mice that were inserted with an insulin pump experienced quicker tumor growth than the control group. Mice that were fed insulin-reducing diazoxide had decreased tumor growth when compared to the control group.

Das stated that the results recommend that the anti-tumour effect of time-restricted eating is at least partly due to depressing levels of insulin, signifying this interference may be effective in breast cancer prevention and treatment. She also stated that exploring the capability of time-restricted eating to avoid breast cancer might provide an inexpensive however effective strategy to avoid cancer impacting an extensive range of patients and signifies a ground-breaking advance in breast cancer research.

Endocrinologists are fundamentally solving the most pressing health conditions of our time, from obesity to infertility, diabetes, bone health and also other hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest and biggest association of scientists dedicated to hormone research and physicians who care for individuals with hormone-related problems.