We all know eating a late dinner isn’t the healthiest choice to make. But what if getting dinner on the table earlier could help lower your risk for cancer. A recent study conducted by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health in Spain seems to think it’s possible. Although the correlation between food and cancer has been investigated for years, this is the first study to investigate the timing of our meals.
Who Are The Participants?
Scientists studied data from 1,205 women with breast cancer and 621 men with prostate cancer. There were 872 males and 1,321 females without cancer studied as controls in the research.
The lifestyle choices of the participants studied include when they ate and their sleep routines. Whether they are a morning or an evening person also came in to play.
What The Study Reveals
The results showed eating dinner before 9 PM decreased cancer risks from those who ate after 10 PM and then went to sleep. There was also a 20% lower risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer for those participants who waited to go to sleep for two hours or more after eating dinner.
Participants who were morning people and who followed other cancer prevention recommendations had an even greater positive effect.
The study focused on breast cancer and prostate cancer patients because these are the two types of cancer mostly seen in night shift workers or people who have different biological patterns for sleeping and eating than the norm.
It’s widely known that eating late at night can cause weight gain. In both breast and prostate cancer being overweight or obese is a known risk factor.
Further research will need to be conducted but these findings could greatly impact cancer prevention in those who work night shifts or in cultures where people generally eat later at night.
The full results can be found in the International Journal of Cancer.