Eating fruits and vegetables reduced the risk of estrogen-negative breast cancer, even though it had no effect on other kinds of breast cancer, according to a study that analyzed research from 20 previous studies and published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Vegetables were slightly better than fruits.

Because researchers were looking at studies that had already been done, they could not control the types and amounts of vegetables and fruits that were studied.  Some of the studies, though, have shown that five servings a day are beneficial, with no added benefit for more than that.  This includes broccoli, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables, plus apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, apricots, strawberries, carrots, and lettuce.

Researchers noted that, because of their “high protein or starch content,” mature beans and potatoes were excluded. Pickled fruit and vegetables were also excluded “because they contain potentially carcinogenic nitrates and preservatives.”

Data were analyzed on 24, 673 breast cancer survivors; 4821 of these were estrogen-negative.  Because not all studies included Her2 status, researchers did not specifically consider cases of TNBC, although other research shows that results from ER-negative studies often translate to TNBC cases.

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