Eating early dinners could reduce cancer risk, study says

Avatar By Tyler MacDonald | 12 months ago

A new study reveals links between the time of evening that people eat their dinner and their risk of developing numerous cancers, such as prostate and breast cancer—both of which are two of the biggest killers in women and men.

The findings shed light on the cancer risks outside of what is common knowledge, such sun exposure and tobacco use.

“Modern life involves mistimed sleeping and eating patterns that in experimental studies are associated with adverse health effects,” the researchers said. “We assessed whether timing of meals is associated with breast and prostate cancer risk taking into account lifestyle and chronotype, a characteristic correlating with preference for morning or evening activity.”

Most of the research focuses on the amount of time that passes between a person’s last meal and their bedtime. People who eat prior to 9 pm. or a couple of hours before sleeping lower their risk of developing cancer. Specifically, the study suggests that these people decrease their cancer risk by 20% compared to people who eat dinner after 10 p.m. or right before going to bed.

The study examined the eating and sleeping habits of thousands of people. The data suggests that early dinners are beneficial for decreasing common types of cancer, although the exact reason for this connection is still not known.

For now, the team believes that circadian rhythm, which refers to patterns of sleep and daily activity that humans have exhibited over thousands of years, plays a strong role.

The findings were published in the International Journal of Cancer.