Does Eating Fruits And Vegetables Really Prevent Cancer?

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Question

Does Eating Fruits And Vegetables Really Prevent Cancer?

Hey Dino, I read that eating fruits and vegetables can prevent cancer. Is this true?

Answer

A popular cancer prevention message preached by health organizations is to consume plenty of fruits and vegetables (F&V). Several studies have found a correlation to individuals, which increased their fruit and vegetable consumption having lower cancer associated risks.

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A great example is the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which developed the "Five-A-Day for Better Health" program, which was designed to increase both fruit and vegetable consumption. Additionally, F&V are staples of the Food Guide Pyramid. Nonetheless, studies have challenged the significance of consuming F&V in cancer-related concerns.

In the year 2000, a clinical trial stated that F&V did not have a significant impact on the risks associated with colorectal polyps. These polyps are sometimes present prior to being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Furthermore, this brief article reports on a study, which has challenged the significance of F&V in the risks associated with breast cancer.

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The data represents precisely 351,825 women and exactly 7,377 cases showing insignificant associations between increased consumption of F&V and lowering the risks of breast cancer. However, the people that participated in the study might not have eaten a significant amount of F&V to have an adequate impact on breast cancer. Furthermore, some F&V may offer more protection than others.

Meanwhile, there is certainly not a downside to consuming F&V. Even if F&V offer an insignificant amount of protection against breast cancer, other studies prove that they are associated with decreasing the risks of other conditions including other forms of cancer.

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Additional studies are under way and will hopefully reveal evidence, which supports a significant correlation concerning this controversial issue of nutritional intervention and cancer prevention.

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References

  1. "Nutrition - Breast Cancer and Fruits and Vegetables." Harvard Women's Health Watch; 2001; 8:NA.

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