Healthy dietary changes have long been associated with reducing the risk of developing different cancers, but a new study has found that curbing certain foods from your diet could also influence the deadliness of the disease.
Research suggests that limiting the consumption of an amino acid called asparagine could dramatically reduce the ability of cancer to spread to other parts of the body.
Foods that are rich in asparagine include beef, poultry, eggs, fish, dairy, whey, seafood, asparagus, legumes, potatoes, nuts, seeds, soy and whole grains. Foods low in asparagine include most fruits and vegetables.
The study – published in the journal Nature – experimented with dietary restrictions on mice with triple-negative breast cancer, a cancer which grows and spreads faster than most other types and often resists common treatments.
"Our study adds to a growing body of evidence that suggests diet can influence the course of the disease," said one of the first authors of the study, Simon Knott.
The researchers says that most women with breast cancer do not succumb to their original tumour, but instead to metastases or subsequent growths away from the primary site.
If further research replicates this finding in humans, reducing cancer patients’ consumption of asparagine could enhance existing therapies, Knott added.