"Women who follow the 5:2 diet 'could reduce their risk of breast cancer','' the Mail Online reports.
A small study found some women who followed the diet experienced breast cell changes thought to be protective against breast cancer. But the study was too small and too short to prove this is definitely the case.
The 5:2 diet is based on the idea that you eat a normal healthy diet for five days of the week and a fasting diet – recommendations are usually around 500 calories for women and 600 for men – for the other two days.
The study involved 24 women who were overweight or obese, aged 35 to 45, free of cancer or diabetes, and with a higher than average breast cancer risk.
The women were told to drop their calorie intake by 75% on two consecutive days a week and follow a Mediterranean diet for the remaining five.
The women lost weight and body fat – about 5% for both – and registered positive changes in the way their bodies were handling energy, fat and insulin.
Around half the women showed biochemical changes in their breast tissue that was interpreted as potentially related to breast cancer risk.
These changes fall a long way from proving that a 5:2 diet would reduce breast cancer risk in all women, although sustained weight loss is known to reduce breast cancer risk.
For more information, read the Behind the Headlines special report on the 5:2 diet.
Full article here.