Breast cancer can prove to be deadly once it spreads to other parts of the body.
But a new study published in the journal Nature found that reducing the amount of food you eat with asparagine in it can help stop the disease from spreading.
Now for the bad news: Your favorite food is probably on that list. That’s because food with that amino acid in it include fish and other seafood, eggs, poultry, beef, legumes, nuts, asparagus, potatoes, whole grains, soy and whey, according to The Boston Globe.
But most veggies and fruits should be okay.
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In the study, researchers examined what happened to mice with triple-negative breast cancer when they fed the critters a diet low in asparagine. They also used a drug called L-asparaginase that blocked production of the asparagine amino acid.
The study found that while reducing the consumption of asparagine had no effect on the original breast cancer tumor, it helped stop the cancer from spreading elsewhere. According to The Guardian, researchers found the spread of breast cancer was best thwarted by taking the L-asparaginase drug.
But changing your diet still can be a smart idea for those battling breast cancer, the study’s findings indicate.
"Our study adds to a growing body of evidence that suggests diet can influence the course of the disease,” one of the study’s authors, Dr. Simon Knott, told NBC.
Knott said the study could have huge implications for people with breast cancer if the same results are found in human cells, according to NBC.
Greg Hannon — another author of the study and director of the Cancer Research UK Cancer Institute in Cambridge — agreed with Knott. He told The Guardian that “this is a very promising lead.”
Yet changing your diet is still far from a silver bullet for keeping breast cancer under control, he added.
“This is one case where we can show at a deep biochemical level how a change in diet can impact properties of cells that are relevant to the progression of lethal disease,” he told The Guardian. “Of course, until human studies are done, this isn’t a DIY method to prevent cancer.”
In another new study out of Harvard, researchers found that women who live in neighborhoods with higher levels of nighttime lighting are more likely to develop breast cancer. A third study, this one from The New England Journal of Medicine, suggested that hormonal birth control could increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer for women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disease killed 41,211 women and 465 men in the U.S during 2014, and it’s recommended that average-risk women start getting a mammogram to screen for it every two years once they turn 50.