Eating a variety of fruit cuts lung cancer risk: study

Experts often recommend to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables daily as a means to prevent cancer. Now, the new study carried out by researchers from 10 European nations showed that regular consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables cuts the risk of lung cancer by up to 23 per cent.

"This research looks more deeply into the relationship between diet and lung cancer", said Maria Jose Sanchez Perez, director of the Granada Cancer Registry in Spain and co-author of the study.

"Aside from the amount consumed, it's also important to take into account the variety. A varied diet reduces the risk of developing this cancer, above all in smokers," she said.
The results of this study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, showed that eating "more than eight sub-groups" of vegetables cuts this risk by 23 per cent compared with eating "less than four sub-groups".

In addition, this risk falls by a further four per cent for each unit added to the diet from another sub-group.

"A significant link was only found in smokers", the researcher stressed. "For every two additional units of different kinds of fruits and vegetables in the diet, the risk of lung cancer falls significantly by 3 per cent.

"So if smokers increase the variety of fruit they eat they could have a lower risk of developing this type of cancer".

The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study involved 23 centres from 10 European countries and a sample of 500,000 European subjects.
Lung cancer continues to be one of the most common cancers in developed countries. For this reason, despite the encouraging results of this study, Sanchez Perez said "the most effective way of preventing it continues to be reducing the prevalence of tobacco consumption among the populace".

Greater variety in fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with a lower risk of developing epidermoid carcinoma of the lung, with an additional two units of fruit and vegetable consumption leading to a 9 per cent reduction in risk. This effect is clearer among smokers (where the risk falls by 12 per cent).

No significant association between fruit and vegetable consumption and the risk of developing lung cancer was seen for the other kinds of tissues affected (adenocarcinoma and small and large cell carcinoma).

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