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D.iet & H.ealth : C.ancer Last Updated: Nov 12th, 2006 - 20:38:00

Vegetables may lower gastric cancer risk
By Jimmy Downs
Oct 22, 2006, 13:51

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Oct. ( - Eating two or three servings of green vegetables a day may drastically lower risk of gastric (stomach) cancer, according to a study published in the October 2006 issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.

The study by Susanna C. Larsson from The National Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden and colleagues meant to investigate the association between consumption of fruits and vegetables and incidence of gastric cancer.

For the study, researchers followed participants in two population-based cohort studies, 37,000 women in the Swedish Mammography Cohort and 45,000 men in the Cohort of Swedish Men between 1997 and 2005 for cancer incidence. During the 7.2-year follow-up, 139 cases of gastric cancer were recorded. Participants dietary habits were surveyed at the start of the study in 1997.

The researchers found that consumption of vegetables was inversely associated with risk of gastric cancer while such an association was not found for fruit consumption.

After age and other risk factors were considered, women and men who ate 2.5 servings or more per day of vegetables are 46 percent less likely to have gastric cancer compared to those who consumed less than one serving a day.

Consumption of green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, and green salad and root vegetables was also inversely associated with risk of gastric cancer. Those who consumed 3 or more servings of greens per week were 36 percent less likely to develop gastric cancer compared to those who consumed less than 0.5 serving per week. For root vegetables, the risk reduction was even better, 57 percent.

The results did not mean consumption of vegetables is the cause of the reduced risk of gastric cancer, but suggested such a possibility. The authors of the study suggested that antioxidants found in vegetables such as beta-carotene may be responsible for the risk reduction.

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