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Consuming fruits and vegetables lowers risk of developing NHL

SEATTLE -- While the struggle continues to encourage Americans to consume more fruits and vegetables, science has now suggested its value in preventing yet another form of cancer. According to a study presented today at the American Association for Cancer Research Third Annual International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, vegetables, fruits and antioxidant vitamins may reduce the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a form of cancer of the lymphoid tissue.

The results of this study, conducted by the National Cancer Institute and four academic centers in Iowa, Seattle, Los Angeles and Detroit, show that individuals who consumed three or more servings of vegetables per day (not including potatoes) had a 40 percent lower risk of developing NHL compared to people who ate less than one serving per day.

The findings were particularly strong for one or more servings per day of green leafy vegetables and one half or more servings per day of vegetables from the broccoli and cabbage family (including cauliflower and Brussels sprouts).

Lower risks were also found, although not significantly, with higher intakes of whole fruits (excluding juices), yellow/orange/red vegetables and processed tomato products such as tomato sauce and tomato juice. For specific nutrients, higher intakes of both selenium and zinc were also associated with lower risk of NHL. The researchers found no strong link to increased intakes of the individual vitamins A, C, or E, or individual carotenoids or retinol.

The researchers investigated this relationship based on the results of a dietary questionnaire administered to more than 450 men and women with NHL between the ages of 20 to 74 years, who were identified from four large cancer registries across the country. These study participants were matched to approximately 400 individuals without cancer who were similar in age, sex, race and lived in the same geographical region.
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Contact: Warren Froelich
Communications@aacr.org
206-219-4772
American Association for Cancer Research
18-Oct-2004


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