Background: Associations between fiber intake and breast cancer risk have been evaluated in prospective studies, but overall, the evidence is inconsistent. The authors performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies to investigate the relation between intake of total and types of fiber with breast cancer incidence.
Methods: The MEDLINE and Excerpta Medica dataBASE (EMBASE) databases were searched through July 2019 for prospective studies that reported on the association between fiber consumption and incident breast cancer. The pooled relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were estimated comparing the highest versus the lowest category of total and types of fiber consumption, using a random-effects meta-analysis.
Results: The authors identified 17 cohort studies, 2 nested case-control studies, and 1 clinical trial study. Total fiber consumption was associated with an 8% lower risk of breast cancer (comparing the highest versus the lowest category, pooled RR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.88-0.95 [I2 = 12.6%]). Soluble fiber was found to be significantly inversely associated with risk of breast cancer (pooled RR, 0.90 [95% CI, 0.84-0.96; I2 = 12.6%]) and insoluble fiber was found to be suggestively inversely associated with risk of breast cancer (pooled RR, 0.93 [95% CI, 0.86-1.00; I2 = 33.4%]). Higher total fiber intake was associated with a lower risk of both premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancers (pooled RR, 0.82 [95% CI, 0.67-0.99; I2 = 35.2%] and pooled RR, 0.91 [95% CI, 0.88-0.95; I2 = 0.0%], respectively). Furthermore, the authors observed a nonsignificant inverse association between intake of total fiber and risk of both estrogen and progesterone receptor-positive and estrogen and progesterone receptor-negative breast cancers.
Conclusions: A random-effects meta-analysis of prospective observational studies demonstrated that high total fiber consumption was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. This finding was consistent for soluble fiber as well as for women with premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer.
Keywords: breast cancer; estrogen and progesterone receptor-positive and -negative tumors; fiber; meta-analysis; postmenopausal; premenopausal.
© 2020 American Cancer Society.