Fruits, Veggies Cut Breast Cancer Risk

Four or more daily servings reduces chances of disease by half

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FRIDAY, Oct. 31, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- A diet rich in fruits and veggies can help protect against breast cancer.

A study by Oregon Health and Science University researchers found women who eat at least four servings of fruits and vegetables have a 50 percent lower risk of breast cancer than women who consume no more than two such servings each day.

They reached that conclusion after examining the diets of 378 women with breast cancer and the diets of 1,070 cancer-free women. All the women, living in Shanghai, China, filled out questionnaires that asked about their intake of 108 individual food items, fried and restaurant food, dietary changes, and the use of nutrient supplements and Chinese herbal medicines.

Along with its finding about the cancer benefits from eating more fruits and vegetables, the study also found that eating at least six eggs a week was also associated with reduced risk of breast cancer. But no association was found between intake of soy or soy products and breast cancer risk.

The study was presented this week at the American Association for Cancer Research conference in Phoenix.

"This study provides further evidence that low fruit and vegetable intake in the Western diet may be a major risk factor in developing breast cancer," lead author Jackilen Shannon, an assistant professor of public health and medicine, says in a prepared statement.

"Women should modify their diet to include more fruits and vegetables to help prevent breast cancer," Shannon says.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about the benefits of eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.

SOURCE: Oregon Health and Science University, news release, Oct. 27, 2003

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