If you need another reason to grab an apple today, a new study may get you inspired. The study suggests that eating just a few fruits and vegetables a day reduces the risk of dying from cancer and an earlier death. And the more produce people ate, the lower their risk of dying during the course of the study.
The study was published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.
From AICR’s report along with other research, there is already an established link between consuming high amounts of fruits and vegetables are reduced risk of certain cancers. This study both strengthens and adds to the research by focusing on mortality, from cancer, along with heart disease and any cause.
The study included approximately 65,000 participants, ages 35 or older, who represent the population of England. They had answered questions annually about how many and what types of fruit and vegetables they had eaten, as well as other health habits.
After an average of 8 years, the people who were eating seven or more fruits and vegetables each day had a 33 percent reduced risk of dying from any cause compared to their non-produce eating counterparts. Even consuming one to three fruits and vegetables a day reduced risk of death by about 10 percent, compared to those who ate none. The link was even stronger when excluding those who died during the first year of the study, which may have been due to illness. Continue reading
For cancer prevention, the evidence is pretty clear: vitamins, minerals and other supplements alone don’t work. Not relying on supplements is one of AICR’s recommendations for cancer prevention — a recommendation made after analyzing the global research.
Now a review of the research supports this conclusion, finding that many popular supplements do not protect against both cancer and heart disease, the two leading causes of death in America. At least among healthy individuals. And some supplements may possibly cause harm among certain groups of people. The report was published by the US Preventive Task Force, an update to their 2003 report with similar findings.
The analysis reviewed all the new evidence since the last report, collecting only “good quality” studies. At the end of it, there were 26 new studies.
Breastfeeding provides numerous benefits to babies, including preventing many illnesses. Often overlooked is the benefit moms get from breastfeeding their babies.
Now for the first time, a study published yesterday found that women who followed AICR’s recommendation for breastfeeding reduced their risk of premature death from all diseases.
The study, featured in Cancer Research Update, found that mothers who breastfed their babies for at least six months had a 17 percent reduced risk for early death compared to women who did not breastfeed at all. Even those who breastfed for a shorter duration had about a 13 percent lower risk for early death. Breastfeeding linked to lower risk for early death from both cancer and cardiovascular disease.
We’ve known, from AICR’s expert report and its updates, that lactation reduces breast cancer risk for mom, but this evidence shows it can also help prevent early death. Although the researchers in this study did not discuss why breastfeeding may lower death risk, we do have some ideas as to how it helps lower risk for breast cancer.
- The longer women breastfeed, the fewer menstrual cycles they have and therefore have reduced lifetime exposure to hormones, especially estrogen, that influence breast cancer risk.
- Breast tissue is shed during lactation and for mature cells, there’s programmed cell death. Both decrease cancer risk as cells with potential DNA damage are shed or die.
This is the first study to look at the association between breastfeeding and mortality in the mother. The researchers say more studies need to be done to confirm these findings.
Most moms do want to breastfeed their babies as long as they can, but it can be very challenging to maintain without support. Find help, tips and suggestions for successful breastfeeding at womenshealth.gov.