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Eating after 10pm and right before bed can increase risk of breast, prostate cancer

A new study shows that people who have their evening meal before 9pm or wait at least two hours before going to sleep have approximately 20% lower risk of breast and prostate cancer. Here’s why.

fitness Updated: Jul 18, 2018 16:11 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Dinner,Breast cancer,Prostate cancer
The research suggests that long-term late night snacking may have a similar effect to night-shift work and circadian disruption.(Shutterstock)

Having your last meal before 9pm or at least two hours before going to bed could lower the risk of breast and prostate cancer, suggests a new study done by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in Spain.

Compared to those who have supper after 10pm or those who go to bed right after meal, people who take their evening meal before 9pm or wait at least two hours before going to sleep have approximately 20% lower risk of those types of cancers, the findings showed.

“Our study concludes that adherence to diurnal eating patterns is associated with a lower risk of cancer,” said lead author Manolis Kogevinas from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in Spain. “The findings highlight the importance of assessing circadian rhythms in studies on diet and cancer.”

The participants, were interviewed about their meal timing, sleep habits and chronotype — an individual attribute correlating with preference for morning or evening activity. The participants also completed a questionnaire on their eating habits and adherence to cancer prevention recommendations. The researchers found that cancer patients were more likely to have dinner late at night.

Breast and prostate cancers are also among those most strongly associated with night-shift work, circadian disruption and alteration of biological rhythms. The research suggests that long-term late night snacking may have a similar effect to night-shift work and circadian disruption. “If the findings are confirmed, they will have implications for cancer prevention recommendations, which currently do not take meal timing into account,” Kogevinas noted.

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First Published: Jul 18, 2018 16:10 IST