September 1, 2010

Veggies Lower Lung Cancer Risk

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Remember when your parents made you sit at the dinner table until you finished all of your veggies? Turns out, they may have been protecting you from lung cancer. 

"Although quitting smoking is the most important preventive action in reducing lung cancer risk, consuming a mix of different types of fruit and vegetables may also reduce risk, independent of the amount, especially among smokers," H. Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., senior scientist and project director of cancer epidemiology at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands, was quoted as saying.

Bueno-de-Mesquita and his colleagues studied data from 452,187 participants; 1,613 of which had lung cancer. Researchers found that consuming a variety of vegetables decreased lung cancer risk.

"Fruits and vegetables contain many different bioactive compounds, and it makes sense to assume that it is important that you not only eat the recommended amounts, but also consume a rich mix of these bioactive compounds by consuming a large variety," Dr. Bueno-de-Mesquita said.

Since tobacco related products contain many cancer causing agents, it is important for smokers, especially, to add a mixture of protective agents in their daily diet.

"Nevertheless, the public should be made aware and be reminded that the only proven way to reduce your risk for lung cancer is to avoid tobacco in all its forms," Stephen Hecht, Ph.D., editorial board member for Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, concluded.

SOURCE: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, September 2010.