Friday, September 2, 2011

Preventing cancer

The use of nutrition to treat and prevent cancer has been well documented in case studies going back a decade. The University of California, Berkey 1992 series of studies is often referenced in health books. Here's the gist of the report:

Nutr Cancer. 1992;18(1):1-29.

Fruit, vegetables, and cancer prevention: a review of the
epidemiological evidence.

Block G, Patterson B, Subar A.

Dept. of Social and Administrative Health Sciences, School of Public Health,
University of California, Berkeley 94720.

Approximately 200 studies that examined the relationship between fruit and
vegetable intake and cancers of the lung, colon, breast, cervix, esophagus, oral
cavity, stomach, bladder, pancreas, and ovary are reviewed. A statistically
significant protective effect of fruit and vegetable consumption was found in 128
of 156 dietary studies in which results were expressed in terms of relative risk.
For most cancer sites, persons with low fruit and vegetable intake (at least the
lower one-fourth of the population) experience about twice the risk of cancer
compared with those with high intake, even after control for potentially
confounding factors. For lung cancer, significant protection was found in 24 of 25
studies after control for smoking in most instances. Fruits, in particular, were
significantly protective in cancers of the esophagus, oral cavity, and larynx, for
which 28 of 29 studies were significant. Strong evidence of a protective effect of
fruit and vegetable consumption was seen in cancers of the pancreas and stomach
(26 of 30 studies), as well as in colorectal and bladder cancers (23 of 38 studies).
For cancers of the cervix, ovary, and endometrium, a significant protective effect
was shown in 11 of 13 studies, and for breast cancer a protective effect was found
to be strong and consistent in a meta analysis. It would appear that major public
health benefits could be achieved by substantially increasing consumption of
these foods.


I have never found a better way to increase my consumption of fruits and vegetables than the green smoothie. Sure, I eat salads and would often make a meal of sliced tomatoes, but the range of fruits and vegetables that I used to eat was fairly limited. With green smoothies, I have an easy way to experiment with an assortment of green leafy vegetables and many different fruits.

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