Studies have not established the effect of lentils on breast cancer

Lentils (Lens culinaris) are a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin B6 and copper and have a relatively high antioxidant content compared to other legumes. Lentil consumption is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and lower total cholesterol.

Cancer-related effects of eating lentils

While consumption of related legumes such as black beans and navy beans has been shown to be chemopreventive against several cancers, the specific effects of lentils have not been isolated. Lentil consumption normally is combined with dry bean consumption in population studies, partially because people who regularly consume lentils typically also consume other dried legumes. Therefore, while available studies appear to support lentil consumption for breast cancer patients, survivors and those at high risk for breast cancer, they are not definitive.

Several population-based studies have found that consumption of beans and lentils is associated with decreased risks of prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer. A case-control study of African Americans found that consumption of legumes such as dried beans, split peas, and lentils was negatively related to risk of colorectal cancer. Another study found that colon cancer recurrence was less likely for those with high dry bean intakes (the same study found no such benefit for increased fruit or vegetable intake). A study of the diets of 90,630 women in the Nurses Health Study II found a significant inverse relationship between breast cancer and intake of beans and lentils. On the other hand, lentils contains relatively high levels of copper, which has been shown to increase angiogenesis and metastasis of breast cancer.

Additional comments

Various types of lentils are used to make dal (dahl, dhal), a preparation of split dehusked dried beans frequently used in South Asian cuisine.

Below are links to recent studies concerning this food. For a more complete list of studies, please click on lentils.

Tags: copper, fiber, folate, lentil, type2Diabetes, vitaminB6

Selected breast cancer studies

Antioxidant potential of fresh and stored lentil sprouts affected by elicitation with temperature stresses Vegetable protein and vegetable fat intakes in pre-adolescent and adolescent girls, and risk for benign breast disease in young women Determination of conjugated and free isoflavones in some legumes by LC-MS/MS Effect of processing methods on nutritional composition and anti-nutritional factors in lentils (Lens culinaris) In vitro fermentability and antioxidant capacity of the indigestible fraction of cooked black beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), lentils (Lens culinaris L.) and chickpeas (Cicer arietinum L.) Bioactive proteins and peptides in pulse crops: Pea, chickpea and lentil Phenolic Substance Characterization and Chemical and Cell-Based Antioxidant Activities of 11 Lentils Grown in the Northern United States Free radical-scavenging capacity, antioxidant activity, and phenolic composition of green lentil (Lens culinaris) Antioxidant Activity of a Red Lentil Extract and Its Fractions Antioxidant activity and phenolic content of lentils (Lens culinaris), chickpeas (Cicer arietinum L.), peas (Pisum sativum L.) and soybeans (Glycine max), and their quantitative changes during processing Effect of soaking, boiling, and steaming on total phenolic contentand antioxidant activities of cool season food legumes Environmental influences on isoflavones and saponins in soybeans and their role in colon cancer Dietary flavonols and flavonol-rich foods intake and the risk of breast cancer Bioaccessibility of calcium, iron and zinc from three legume samples Effect of Soaking and Cooking on the Saponin Content and Composition of Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum) and Lentils (Lens culinaris)

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