NEW YORK, April 7 (UPI) — Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables may help prevent cancer, but U.S. researchers found the effect is not as large as initially believed.
Lead author Dr. Paolo Boffetta of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and colleagues analyzed data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study, which involved 142,605 men and 335,873 women from 1992 to 2000 from 10 Western European countries.
After more than eight years of tracking, some 30,000 were diagnosed with cancer.
The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found an increase of 200 grams a day, or about three-quarters of a cup of fruits and vegetables, resulted in a reduction of about 3 percent of cancer risk. However, vegetable consumption by itself has a more modest benefit, but was restricted to women, the researchers said.
“The bottom line here is that, yes, we did find a protective effect of fruit and vegetable intake against cancer, but it is a smaller connection than previously thought,” Boffetta said in a statement. “Any cancer protective effect of these foods is likely to be modest, at best. However, eating fruits and vegetables is beneficial for health in general and the results of this study do not justify changing current recommendations aiming at increasing intake of these foods.”
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