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Nutrients from fruits and vegetables are associated with a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer

At a Glance: A recent study has shown that people obtaining high amounts of nutrients found in fruits and vegetables, whether through diet or supplements, have a significantly reduced risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is a dangerous disease for which the role of dietary factors has yet to be determined. In a recent study published in Journal of Gastrointestinal Cancer, researchers found that a diet high in the nutrients found in fruits and vegetables was related to a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer.

The study included 1,367 adult men and women, 384 that had pancreatic cancer and 983 subjects that were matched for age and other factors including sex, smoking, body mass index, energy intake, and alcohol consumption. All subjects provided demographic information and completed a 144-item food frequency questionnaire in which they reported no change to their diet within 5 years prior to beginning the study. The collected data included intakes of magnesium, potassium, selenium, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin, niacin (B3), Vitamin E, Vitamin A, vitamins B1, B6 and C. Intakes were recorded for both fruit and vegetable intake and nutritional supplements.

A significantly lower risk of pancreatic cancer was observed in the subjects consuming the highest 20% of overall nutrient intake compared to those with the lowest 20% of intake. It was also found that those who used supplements with certain key nutrients had a significantly reduced risk of pancreatic cancer compared to those not using supplements.

Although this study does not illustrate the exact mechanism related to protection, it strongly suggests that eating fruits and vegetables and their corresponding nutrients may help reduce the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

Jansen RJ et al. Nutrients from fruit and vegetable consumption reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer. J Gastrointest Cancer. 2013 Jun;44(2):152-61.


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