Can diet prevent cancer?

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Recently a new scientific article was published questioning the relation between diet and cancer. Here you can read a short summary of the study´s results. The study was a cohort which included 478.478 men and women aged 25-70 years from Europe. The study started in January 1992 where the researchers took baseline measurements e.g. questionnaires on diet. The participants had to memorize and register their food intake during the past 12 months. 8 % of the participants answered another questionnaire registering the last 24 hours diet by recall. In December 2000 the researchers repeated all the measurements.

After a period of 8,7 years 30.604 persons were diagnosed with cancer and in average the participants had eaten 170 g. fruits a day and 134 g. vegetables a day (with national variations). This development was held against the development in cancer. In the present study the researchers looked at the overall cancer risk and the overall food intake. They found a significant relation between cancer and diet, but to a lesser extent than found earlier. In the present study 2,6 % of all cancer cases in men and 2,3 % of all cancer cases in women would be prevented if they consumed 150 g fruit or vegetables a day. The present study detected the potential preventive effect of diet in relation to cancer and not the effect of diet during a cancer diagnosis.

There is no doubt that the strength of the present study is the large number of participants, but the limitations are the participants subjective evaluation of their diet in the previous year and furthermore the duration of the study, because what did the participants eat before they were enrolled in the study. Can you remember your dietary habits in the previous 12 months?

Does the present study indicate that diet is not relevant in preventing cancer? Is it a good idea to quit fruit and vegetables because it MAY not prevent cancer in the same degree as we thought? No absolutely not – I say. Diet is of course not the only factor preventing cancer, but the diet plays a role and it is a contributing factor both in the prevention and fight against cancer. The scientific knowledge and my own experience in this field are more than plenty for me – I choose to be proactive. I get more energy everyday and in the long run I am trying to one step ahead of several diseases caused by lifestyle. There are no guarantees in life, but what do you choose?

 



Nutrition and cancer

Scientific work shows that there is a well-founded suspicion of the importance of the diet when it comes to the development of cancer.

(Source: Kræftens Bekæmpelse)

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