The way you eat may be just as vital as how much you eat, if mice studies are any clue.

New findings, published in the journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, suggest the method by which calories are restricted may be more vital for protection of cancer than the actual overall degree of calorie restriction.

“Understanding how calorie restriction provides protection against the development of mammary tumors should help us identify pathways that could be targeted for chemoprevention studies,” said Margot P. Cleary, Ph.D., professor at the Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota.

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“Further identification of serum factors that are involved in tumor development would possibly provide a way to identify at risk individuals and target interventions to these people.”