Contrary to popular belief, a recent American study found no positive association between risk of breast cancer and meat consumption.

The Nurses’ Health Study followed 88,647 women for 18 years. Investigators found no evidence that a diet high in animal protein was associated with risk of breast cancer.

Similarly, the data showed no reduced risk among women who were vegetarians.

“Although more research is required, this finding may bring us one step closer toward defining what dietary habits, if any, are helpful in lowering breast cancer risk.” said Michelle Holmes of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and lead author of the study.