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Study: Girls Who Eat Peanut Butter Lower Their Risk of Breast Cancer Later in Life

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File photo of peanut butter. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

File photo of peanut butter. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

CBS St. Louis (con't)

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) - Start spreading the news, there is a new found benefit for girls who eat peanut butter.

According to a study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Harvard Medical School, girls 9 to 15 years of age who regularly ate peanut butter or nuts were 39 percent less likely to develop benign breast disease by age 30.

“This is really promising evidence that the diet that young girls and young woman eat can lower their risk of precursor lesions for breast cancer,” said senior author Dr. Graham Colditz, associate director for cancer prevention and control at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.

The findings are based on the health histories of 9,039 U.S. girls enrolled in The Growing Up Today Study from 1996 through 2001. Later, from 2005 through 2010, when the study participants were 18 to 30 years old, they reported whether they had been diagnosed with benign breast disease that had been confirmed by breast biopsy.

Colditz says the study also suggests that teen girls who ate beans, lentils, soybeans and corn also may help prevent benign breast disease, but consumption of these foods was much lower in these girls and thus the evidence was weaker.

Colditz recommended that girls replace high-calorie junk foods and sugary beverages with peanut butter or nuts. Other helpful factors for young girls, include not drinking alcohol during their teen years and getting plenty of exercise, says Colditz.

The research was published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

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