Today’s Cancer Research Update features a study that suggests eating plenty of fruits and vegetables may slightly reduce women’s risk of breast cancer. Every 200 grams of fruits and vegetables eaten per day – about 1 to 2 cups – was associated with a 4 percent decreased risk of breast cancer.
What does a cup of fruits and vegetables look like? A small apple, an orange and a dozen baby carrots are a few examples. Look at the CDC for more.
The research was funded by the World Cancer Research Fund as part of AICR/WCRF’s Continuous Update Project (CUP), an ongoing review of cancer prevention research. Here, lead author Dagfinn Aune, a nutritional epidemiologist at Imperial College London who is part of the CUP team, answers a few questions about the findings.
Q: Every 200 grams of fruits and vegetables linking to a 4% reduced risk of breast cancer does not seem like a lot. Can you explain why it’s important?
A: Yes, the reduction in relative risk is modest, but the increment that was used for the analysis was also moderate so the reduction in risk may be larger for women that eat greater than 200 grams per day of fruit and vegetables. For those with the highest intake of fruit or fruit and vegetables combined there was a 8 to 11 percent reduction in the relative risk compared with those with the lowest intake, which is similar to our previous results for colorectal cancer. The association appears to be linear, meaning more benefit the more you eat. Continue reading