The diet has also proven its efficacy in improving the health of patients suffering from diabetes and HIV.
Refined sugars and saturated fat are kept to a minimum.
The women were followed over a median period of 9 years, and the study examined the isoflavones that occur naturally in foods, not supplementary isoflavones. This analysis found that those women with the highest scores were 41 percent more likely to develop premenopausal breast cancer, compared to those with the lowest scores. This decrease was primarily found in women with the hormone receptor-negative form of breast cancer and who were not treated with anti-estrogen therapy.
"Whether lifestyle factors can improve survival after diagnosis is an important question for women diagnosed with this more aggressive type of breast cancer", said Zhang.
A typical Mediterranean diet includes high intakes of plant-based proteins such as nuts, lentils and beans, whole grains, fish and "healthy" monounsaturated fats such as olive oil.
Consumption of refined foods such as white bread and white rice as well as red meat and candies is kept to a minimum.
"Our research can help to shine a light on how dietary patterns can affect our cancer risk", Piet van den Brandt from the Netherlands-based Maastricht University, who led the study, told the Independent.
"Isoflavones - the component of soy that has estrogen-like properties - have been shown to slow the growth of breast cancer cells in laboratory studies, and epidemiological analyses in East Asian women with breast cancer found links between higher isoflavone intake and reduced mortality; however, other research has suggested that the estrogen-like effects of isoflavones may reduce the effectiveness of hormone therapies used to treat breast cancer", Dr. Fang Fang Zhang, of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, said in a press release.
Woman charged, boy missing in Murray River at Moama
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Diet inflammatory score was not associated with overall breast cancer incidence or postmenopausal breast cancer.
EATING a Mediterranean diet can cut the risk of a deadly type of breast cancer by 40 per cent, a study has found.
"With breast cancer being so common in the United Kingdom, prevention is key if we want to see a decrease in the number of women developing the disease".
Breast cancer is often treated with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
The effect worked for women with oestrogen-receptor negative breast cancer, which doesn't respond to hormonal drugs. The team estimates that if everyone followed the Mediterranean Diet 32.4% of breast cancer cases could be avoided.
"Breast cancer isn't just one disease - not all types have the same triggers and this study unpicks these complexities".
Emma Pennery, clinical director at Breast Cancer Care, called the findings "intriguing".
"So it's crucial women know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, and contact their GP with any concerns".