Warning: eating this fruit increases your risk for breast cancer

August 21, 2007
Volume 04    |   Issue 34

You may think that eating this popular fruit or drinking its juice is one of the healthiest ways to start your day. After all, it?s high in vitamin C and contains good amounts of vitamin A, potassium, and other healthy nutrients. We?ve known for years that it isn?t good for everyone. It interacts with certain medications, such as statins, making the drugs far too potent. Now we?re seeing that there?s another reason to avoid eating this fruit regularly. In fact, not eating it could save your life!

This common breakfast fruit and its thirst-quenching juice can put you at a significant risk for getting breast cancer. And no one?s warning you about this.

So what is this fruit? It?s grapefruit. According to a recent British study, if you eat just one-quarter of a grapefruit or more each day, it may be time to switch to oranges.

The study evaluated more than 50,000 postmenopausal women from various ethnic backgrounds. The researchers looked for an association between eating grapefruit and getting breast cancer. They found a significant link between eating small amounts of grapefruit daily and getting this dreaded disease.

The reason? Estrogen. Grapefruit increases your risk for breast cancer by raising your blood levels of estrogen. You already know that there?s a strong association between estrogen and breast cancer.

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The results of this study were startling. It found that postmenopausal women who regularly ate grapefruit, or drank grapefruit juice, had the same risk for getting breast cancer as women on hormone therapy. And it didn?t matter if the women took estrogen alone or estrogen with progestins.

If you?ve switched from synthetic to bio-identical hormones, or if you?ve decided that the risk for taking any hormones outweighs their benefits, it may be time for you to avoid eating grapefruit. At least on a regular basis. In this case, what you don?t eat could save your life.

Your voice of reason in Women's Health,


Monroe, KR, et al, "Prospective study of grapefruit intake and risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women: the Multiethnic Cohort Study," Br J Cancer, July 31, 2007.

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