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Seaweed Consumption and Its Effect on Breast Cancer

10 August 2019


Background: Breast cancer remains the most common cancer in women worldwide. Interestingly, breast cancer incidence varies dramatically among countries. Japan, in particular, has relatively low breast cancer (BC) rates when compared to those in Western countries. Daily consumption of seaweed has been proposed as one of the factors in explaining the difference in incidence rates of BC. The high concentrations of polysaccharides in seaweed have been reported in many studies to have anti-cancer effects as well as chemoprotective effects. The aim for this review is to look at the potential benefits of seaweed consumption and its effect on breast cancer.

Methods: Exhaustive search of available medical literature was performed using MEDLINE-Ovid, Science Direct, Web of Science and CINAHL. Keywords used included: breast cancer, breast neoplasm and seaweed. Studies were assessed for quality using GRADE criteria.

Results: The systematic literature search yielded 311 articles for review. After screening the titles and abstracts, 3 articles met the eligibility criteria. Two of the studies were randomized control trials and 1 was a case-control observational study. These studies showed an association between seaweed consumption and lower rates of breast cancer.

Conclusion: Daily consumption of seaweed may play an important role in decreasing the incidence of breast cancer in women.

Keywords: Seaweed, breast cancer, breast neoplasm


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