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.