A recent study has found out the people who have an early dinner before 9 PM or eat at least two hours before bedtime have a reduced risk of prostrate and breast cancer. The risk is 20 percent less as compared to people who eat after 10 PM or those who consume food and sleep shortly afterwards. These findings were a result of the research conducted by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a centre supported by the “la Caixa” Banking Foundation.
Link Between Food, Sleep And Cancer
The report by Science Daily says that though researches have been conducted to find links between certain types of food and cancer, this is the first study of its kind which has included food consumption timing. The types of cancer – prostrate and breast are the most common and are associated with night-shift work, circadian disruption and alteration of biological rhythms says the report.
The research analysed 621 cases of prostate cancer and 1,205 cases of breast cancer. They were questioned about the time they ate food, the time they went to bed and their preference for morning or evening activities (chronotype). “Our study concludes that adherence to diurnal eating patterns is associated with a lower risk of cancer,” explained ISGlobal researcher Manolis Kogevinas, lead author of the study to Science Daily.
The findings according to Kogevinas “highlight the importance of assessing circadian rhythms in studies on diet and cancer.” If these are confirmed, “they will have implications for cancer prevention recommendations, which currently do not take meal timing into account.” He also added that, “The impact could be especially important in cultures such as those of southern Europe, where people have supper late.”
“Further research in humans is needed in order to understand the reasons behind these findings, but everything seems to indicate that the timing of sleep affects our capacity to metabolise food,” said Dora Romaguera, ISGlobal researcher and the last author of the study.