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Diet, but not supplements, prevents cancer - studies

Friday July 20th, 2018

A healthy diet may help prevent cancer – but some supplements and alternative therapies offer no benefits, according to a series of studies reported today.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, Massachusetts, USA, reported that women with diets high in fruit and vegetables enjoyed a reduced risk of developing breast cancer.

The findings come from an analysis of outcomes for more than 180,000 nurses.

Reported in the International Journal of Cancer, they show that women who managed six or more servings of fruit and vegetables daily had an 11% reduced risk of developing breast cancer compared with those who ate fewer than three servings.

The benefits were particularly linked to ER-negative, HER2-enriched and basal-like tumours.

Researcher Heath Eliassen said: "While a diet with lots of fruits and vegetables is associated with many other health benefits, our results may provide further impetus for women to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables.”

A second study in JAMA Oncology found that cancer patients who turn to complementary therapies may refuse conventional treatments. The analysis of 258 patients found that 34% refused chemotherapy and 53% refused radiotherapy after receiving alternative treatments.

A third study, also in JAMA Oncology, found no evidence that high dose vitamin D supplements, taken monthly, prevented cancer. The research in New Zealand involved more than 5,000 people in a randomised clinical trial.

International Journal of Cancer 6 July 2018

http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.31653

JAMA Oncology 19 July 2018

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaoncology/article-abstract/2687971

Tags: Alternative Therapy | Australia | Cancer | Diet & Food | North America

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