Why ‘fast food’ oil increases your risk for metastatic breast cancer

There’s probably not a woman out there that doesn’t fear a breast cancer diagnosis. And, those that survive the disease live with the constant worry of recurrence since the majority of survivors have dormant tumor cells circulating in their blood, like a time bomb, waiting to go off.

While many think of breast cancer as a purely genetic disease, nothing could be further from the truth. Now, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have found that there’s a specific lifestyle factor that could not only trigger tumor proliferation but also metastasis in breast cancer survivors.

Thermally abused cooking oil

Scientists have long known that cooking oil that has been reheated or “thermally abused” is linked to a variety of health problems, including atherosclerosis and heart disease. That’s because when oil is reheated, the triglycerides in it are chemically altered, broken apart, and free radicals are oxidized.

Because of this, countries in Europe regulate the amount of these materials in frying oil. The U.S., on the other hand, has no such regulations. So, when you hit the drive-thru to grab a quick order of French fries, chicken strips, or other fried food, you can get a huge dose of those dangerous compounds.

Basically, even though you’re not eating the oil directly, those foods act like a sponge, soaking it up for you to consume.

Related: The most powerful (and preventable) trigger of metastatic breast cancer

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This led those Illinois researchers to wonder if eating food fried in thermally abused oil could also lead to problems with breast cancer…

When asked why he thought there might be a link between reheated oil and breast cancer cells, William G. Helferich, a professor of food science and human nutrition, who led the research said, “What wakes those cells up is anybody’s guess, but I’m convinced that diet activates them and creates an environment in different tissues that’s more fertile for them to grow.”

Promoting the progression of late-stage breast cancer

To prove the theory, he and his team fed one group of mice a diet containing unheated fresh soybean oil, while another group consumed thermally abused oil for 16 weeks. The researchers picked soybean oil since it’s commonly used by fast food joints and other restaurants for deep frying.

They then simulated late-stage breast cancer by injecting breast cancer cells into a tibia of each mouse. And, they found that 20 days after the injection of those the tumor cells, the primary tumors in the mice that consumed the thermally abused oil had more than four times as much metastatic growth as the mice that consumed the fresh soybean oil.

And, if that wasn’t enough, when the researchers examined the animals’ lungs, they found twice as many tumors in the reheated cooking oil group — and those tumors were more aggressive and invasive.

In fact, researcher and lead author of the study, Ashley W. Oyirifi, put it this way, “Many cancer biologists are trying to understand what’s happening at metastatic sites to prime them for tumor growth. We’re trying to add to this conversation and help people understand that it might not be just some inherent biological mechanism but a lifestyle factor. If diet provides an opportunity to reduce breast cancer survivors’ risk, it offers them agency over their own health.”

So, if you’re a breast cancer survivor or even simply looking for a way to avoid the disease completely — take this opportunity for agency over your own health and avoid eating food fried in reheated cooking oil. Now most of us don’t reuse cooking oil at home, so it could be as simple as cutting the fast food lane out of your life to save your breasts and your life.

<br /> <strong>Sources:</strong></p> <ol> <li><a href=” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Study in mice examines impact of reused cooking oil on breast cancer progression — EurekAlert!

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.