When you eat may be as critical as what you eat for your risk of breast and prostate cancers, a research team reported this week.
The findings came from a Spanish study published in the International Journal of Cancer, which was led by environmental, occupational and molecular epidemiologist Dr. Manolis Kogevinas of Barcelona’s Institute for Global Health. Kogevinas is currently a visiting professor at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
In a nutshell, participants in the study who ate dinner before 9 p.m. or waited at least two hours after eating before going to bed had a 26 percent lower risk of prostate cancer and a 16 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those who either ate after 10 p.m. or ate and then promptly hit the hay.
Kogevinas studies circadian rhythms and how these intertwined systems maintain our body’s metabolic, immune, renal, liver and other physiological functions as we go about our 24-hour day. This inner clock regulates our sleep, our energy levels, our hormones and our body temperatures. Mess with the timing — as we do when we stay up late staring at our TV, laptop and smartphone screens — and you can bump your risk for disease, including cancer.