AACR: Healthy Diet May Lower Risk of Head, Neck Cancer

Large-scale study shows lowest risk in people who eat high amounts of fruits and vegetables

MONDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- People who eat high amounts of fruits and vegetables may have a reduced risk of developing head and neck cancer compared to those who eat little or no fruit or vegetables, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Los Angeles.

Neal Freedman, Ph.D., of the National Cancer Institute, and colleagues analyzed data on 490,802 participants of the NIH-AARP Diet and Health cohort study, 787 of whom developed head and neck cancer.

The researchers found that participants who ate six servings of fruit and vegetables per day per 1,000 calories had a 29 percent lower risk of head and neck cancer than those who consumed one and a half servings per 1,000 calories per day. They also found each increase of one serving of fruit or vegetables per 1,000 calories per day was associated with a six percent lower risk.

"Although we cannot absolutely rule out a cancer preventive role for other lifestyle factors that go along with eating more fruits and vegetables, our results are consistent with those from previous studies," Freedman said in a statement. "Our study suggests that fruit and vegetable consumption may protect against head and neck cancer and adds support to current dietary recommendations to increase fruit and vegetable consumption."

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