Eating a variety of fruit cuts lung cancer risk

Nov 19, 2010
Eating a variety of fruit cuts lung cancer risk. Credit: SINC

Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables per day is one of the means that experts most frequently recommend for preventing cancer. Now, the European EPIC study carried out by researchers from 10 countries has shown that, in the case of lung cancer, the important thing is not just the quantity but also the variety of fruit consumed, which can reduce the risk by up to 23%.

"This research looks more deeply into the relationship between and lung cancer", María José Sánchez Pérez, co-author of the study and director of the Granada Cancer Registry at the Andalusian School of Public Health, tells SINC.

She says: "Aside from the amount consumed, it's also important to take into account the variety. A varied diet reduces the risk of developing this cancer, above all in smokers".

The results of this study, which have been published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, show that eating "more than eight sub-groups" of vegetables cuts this risk by 23% compared with eating "less than four sub-groups". In addition, this risk falls by a further 4% for each unit added to the diet from another sub-group.

"A significant link was only found in smokers", the researcher stresses. "For every two additional units of different kinds of fruits and vegetables in the diet, the risk of lung cancer falls significantly by 3%. So if smokers increase the variety of fruit they eat they could have a lower risk of developing this type of cancer".

The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) involves 23 centres from 10 European countries (Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Greece, Holland, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom and Sweden, working with a sample of 500,000 European subjects (41,000 of whom live in the Spanish regions of Asturias, Granada, Guipúzcoa, Murcia and Navarre).

Lung cancer continues to be one of the most common cancers in developed countries. For this reason, despite the encouraging results of this study, Sánchez Pérez concludes that "the most effective way of preventing it continues to be reducing the prevalence of tobacco consumption among the populace".

The effect by type of cancerous tissue

Greater variety in fruit and is associated with a lower risk of developing epidermoid carcinoma of the lung, with an additional two units of fruit and vegetable consumption leading to a 9% reduction in risk. This effect is clearer among smokers (where the risk falls by 12%).

No significant association between and vegetable consumption and the risk of developing was seen for the other kinds of tissues affected (adenocarcinoma and small and large cell carcinoma).

Explore further: Many older people have mutations linked to leukemia, lymphoma in their blood cells

More information: Frederike L. Büchner, et al. "La variedad en el consumo de frutas y verduras disminuye el riesgo de desarrollar cáncer de pulmón entre las personas fumadoras". Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 19(9); 2278 Sept 2010.

Provided by FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology

5 /5 (3 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Diverse diet of veggies may decrease lung cancer risk

Aug 30, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Adding a variety of vegetables to one’s diet may help decrease the chance of getting lung cancer, and adding a variety of fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk of squamous cell lung cancer, especially ...

Broccoli may lower lung cancer risk in smokers

Nov 18, 2008

The cancer preventive properties of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables appear to work specifically in smokers, according to data presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's Seventh Annual International ...

Research links diet, gardening and lung cancer risk

Dec 07, 2007

By simply eating four or more servings of green salad a week and working in the garden once or twice a week, smokers and nonsmokers alike may be able to substantially reduce the risk of developing lung cancer, say researchers ...

Recommended for you

70-gene signature not cost-effective in breast cancer

Oct 18, 2014

(HealthDay)—For patients with node-negative breast cancer (NNBC), the 70-gene signature is unlikely to be cost-effective for guiding adjuvant chemotherapy decision making, according to a study published ...

User comments : 0