||Last Updated: Dec 2nd, 2006 - 13:49:27
By Jimmy Downs
Eating a diet spiced with garlic and or onions may lower the risk of some cancers, according to a new study published in the November issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Dr. Carlotta Galeone, the lead author of the new study, at the Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacologic Research in Milan, Italy and colleagues reviewed eight studies conducted in Italy and Switzerland and found that older adults with highest intakes of garlic and onions were less likely to develop a number of cancers including colon, ovarian and throat cancers.
The findings are in agreement with early studies conducted in China where use of garlic and onions is common, particularly in some provinces. But it’s unknown whether the Chinese studies are applicable to the populations in the West. The current findings suggest that garlic and onions may also benefit the Westerners in fighting cancers.
The review found that men and women who ate seven or more servings of onions per week were 50 percent less likely to develop colon cancer compared to those who did not eat onions. Those who ate garlic were 25 percent less likely to develop the disease compared to those who ate garlic-free diets. Both garlic and onions are also linked with reduced risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, kidneys and ovaries.
It's unknown how the vegetables affect the risk of cancers. Animal and lab studies have found that certain compounds found in garlic and onions such as sulfur compounds in garlic and antioxidants in onions may inhibit the growth of cancer.
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