October 1, 2012 — Eating cruciferous vegetables can significantly reduce the risk of developing several cancers, including oral, esophageal, colorectal, breast, and kidney cancer, according to a study in the Annals of Oncology (August 2012, Vol. 23:8, pp. 2198-2203).
Epidemiological studies have shown that eating cruciferous vegetables — which include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, and bok choy — is associated with reduced risk for a number of cancers, the study authors noted.
The Italian researchers conducted a meta-analysis of data from multiple case-control studies done in Italy and Switzerland to examine the association between consumption of cruciferous vegetables and risk of multiple cancers.
The analysis included 1,468 cancers of the oral cavity/pharynx, 505 of the esophagus, 230 of the stomach, 2,390 of the colorectum, 185 of the liver, 326 of the pancreas, 852 of the larynx, 3,034 of the breast, 367 of the endometrium, 1,031 of the ovary, 1,294 of the prostate, and 767 of the kidney, along with 1,492 control patients.
Compared to men and women who ate no cruciferous vegetables, those who ate such vegetables at least once a week cut their risk of cancer of the oral cavity/pharynx by 17%, esophageal cancer by 28%, colorectal cancer by 17%, breast cancer by 17%, and kidney cancer by 32%, the study showed.
In addition, eating cruciferous vegetables cut the risk of stomach cancer by 10%, pancreatic cancer by 10%, laryngeal cancer by 16%, endometrial cancer by 7%, ovarian cancer by 9%, and prostate cancer by 13%, the researchers reported.
This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.