Grapefruit and Cancer?

Q. I read that eating grapefruit can cause breast cancer. Is that really true?

A. Not exactly, but there may be a risk. A recent study of more than 50,000 women found that women who ate grapefruit the most often (equal to half a grapefruit every other day) had a significantly increased risk of breast cancer.

The same natural compound in grapefruit that alters blood levels of some drugs is known to increase estrogen levels as well. And high estrogen levels increase the risk of breast cancer.

In fact, estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) must carry a warning that grapefruit increases estrogen levels. In this study, grapefruit increased breast cancer risk whether women took ERT or not.

EN‘s Bottom Line. This gives us pause. More research is needed before we can make recommendations to avoid grapefruit to reduce breast cancer risk, but if you are concerned you can opt for another citrus fruit, like oranges, instead.

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