Study: Diet rich in vegetables, fruit and juice reduces risk of cancer

Photo: Fotolia
Photo: Fotolia

People who eat more vegetables, fruits, juices and dairy products are at much lower risk of cancer - show results of specialists from the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, made available to PAP.

According to the main author of the study Prof. Lidia Wądołowska from the Faculty of Food Sciences, University of Warmia and Mazury, this type of diet reduces the risk of breast cancer in women and lung cancer in men by as much as 60 percent. This is confirmed by observations carried out on a group of 217 people, including 122 women and 95 men aged 23-80 years.

The researchers asked study participants how often they consume 21 selected types of food. They found that health-promoting diet includes frequent consumption of dairy products (curd, fermented milk drinks, cheese and milk) and fruits, vegetables and juices (fruit, vegetable, fruit and vegetable juices).

It was observed that breast cancer in women or lung cancer in men occurred in only 26 percent respondents who consumed more vegetables, fruits, juices and dairy products. Almost twice as often (47 percent) these cancers were diagnosed in people, who rarely consumed these products.

Ultimately, Olsztyn scientists have calculated that a "milk-fruit-vegetable" diet reduces the chances of breast cancer in women and lung cancer in men by 60 percent.

Prof. Wądołowska noted in a statement for PAP that the beneficial health effects depended on all the products that were components of a healthy eating pattern. However, each of them could participate in a different mechanism of reducing the risk of developing cancer. One of these mechanisms is the beneficial role of antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables and fruit and vegetable juices.

"Antioxidants, called free radical +scavengers+ positively influence the process of reproduction of healthy cells. Therefore, regular consumption of vegetables, fruits, and juices can provide the body with high antioxidant potential, counteracting the damage to important cellular structures, which prevents the development of subsequent phases of the cancer process" - emphasised Prof. Wądołowska.

Due to the fibre content, sugars, which enter the body together with fruits and vegetables - including juices - raise blood glucose levels more slowly. This - explained the professor - prevents systemic disorders of glucose metabolism and chronic inflammation that initiates cancer.

Prof. Witold Płocharski from the Institute of Horticulture in Skierniewice told PAP that a proper diet should be varied, there should be place for vegetables and fruits of various species and colours, including juices, but also for dairy products, cereals (preferably whole grains) and necessarily fish.

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