Eating between dinner and breakfast the next day may increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence

Portrait of hungry woman looking in fridge at late night

A new study suggests that women with early-stage breast cancer have a lower risk of their cancer returning if they fast every night for 13 hours, STAT reports.

After carrying out periodic diet surveys of over 2,000 women in the early-stage of breast cancer over four years, the researchers found that women who had less than 13 hours between their last meal of the day and breakfast the next morning had a 36 percent higher risk of breast cancer recurrence. The results were published in JAMA Oncology.

The lead investigator for the study told STAT that more robust human study is needed, and Dr. Charles Shapiro, who was not involved with the research, agreed, though he said overnight fasting couldn’t hurt.


“I can’t recommend it because I don’t have enough data that convinces me that this is a real effect, ” Shapiro, director of the Translational Breast Cancer Research at Mount Sinai, told STAT.

Read the full STAT report here.

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