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May 21, 2016 05:57 AM EDT

While teens can basically eat anything they want, a new study suggests that they should hold off on too much fatty food. Saturated fats primarily found in butter, cheese, meat, dairy products and other fatty foods can increase breast density. Researchers have found that long term intake of fatty foods can lead to greater breast density and may cause higher risk for breast cancer later in life.

Breast Density Clinical Trial on Teens

Researchers at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine in Baltimore conducted a clinical trial to find out how different kinds of fats affect breast tissue. For their research, they made their study on teenagers going through puberty, more than half of the teens were girls, WebMD reported.


The participants were asked to detail their dietary intake. When they were in their late 20's, they were asked to take MRI scans to measure breast density. Researchers found that those who reported to have higher intake of saturated fats and lower intake of unsaturated fats in their teens had higher breast density volume. However, the difference among those who had modest intake of saturated fats in their teens was not very significant, Tech Times noted.

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The results of the study were published online in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Higher Breast Density Only Associated with Increased Breast Cancer Risk

The researchers have acknowledged that there are limitations to their study. Their findings only found association and not cause and effect. Breast density was only found to be associated with risk for breast cancer. Researchers may need to investigate further before diet recommendations for teens may be amended.

Furthermore, high intake of fatty foods can cause other adverse health conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity so there is a good reason for avoiding too much of it too.

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