Meal timings are an important deciding factor for a number of health-related issues, like weight loss or gain, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, etc. But did you know that what time you eat dinner may even increase or bring down your risk of contracting cancer? A new study published in the International Journal of Cancerhas claimed that late dinners may result in increased risks of prostate and breast cancers. The study looked at 621 cases of prostate and 1,205 of breast cancer and had a participation of 872 men and 1,321 women. The claims of this study are even more shocking in light of the fact that both these types of cancer are among the most common types of cancer. The study was conducted by a group of researchers in Spain, who collected data from the participants about their sleep schedules and dinner timings.
After adjusting for factors such as cancer cases in the family, socioeconomic status of the participants and carcinogenic influencers in the environment of the participants, researchers drew up the results which showed that late dinner is overall responsible for an increase in the risk of both breast cancer and prostate cancer. The study found that those who had dinner before 9 pm or waited at least two hours after eating to go to sleep, were at a 26 per cent lower risk of developing prostate cancer. Similarly, women who had early dinner were at a 16 per cent lower risk of having breast cancer, as compared to those who ate dinner post-10 pm or went to bed right after eating.
The researchers of this study said that the shocking results can be traced to disturbances in circadian rhythms of the body, which regulate biological processed such as sleep, hormones, energy levels and body temperature. Disruptions in the circadian rhythms of the body can affect the immune system, making our bodies more susceptible to development of tumours. Researchers said that light is one of the most important factor that affects circadian rhythms, followed by diet. Although earlier studies have focussed on how dietary habits and patterns may affect cancer risks in humans, there is very limited research on how meal timings may factor in the causes of cancer.