Monday, January 18, 2010

Mediterranean Diet Linked to Cancer Protection: Study

Source: Reuters Health (Summary by NIM)

Ask medical professionals and scientists what the healthiest foods in the world are, and their response will likely be unanimous: fruits, veggies, seeds, nuts, whole grains, lean protein and fish. Why? Well, the reasons are numerous, but a new study adds another 'plus' to this way of eating - cancer protection. Stomach cancer, to be more precise.

This new, large study out of Europe compiled data from 485,044 men and women 35 to 70 years old from 10 European countries. Each participant was given a score out of 18 to represent how closely their diet adhered to a Mediterranean style of eating. Each participant was followed for 9 years to see if anyone had developed cancer. During that time period, those who had followed the diet most closely were 33% less likely to develop cancer. Furthermore, the more closely participants adhered to the Mediterranean diet, the less likely they were to develop stomach cancer; 5% less likely with each increasing 'point' on the scale out of 18.

According to one of the researchers, "The results add to the evidence for the role of the Mediterranean diet in reducing cancer risk and add further support for the need to continue to promote the Mediterranean diet in areas where it is disappearing," .

Find out more about this study in the article called "Mediterranean diet protects against stomach cancer" from Reuters Health (Jan. 15, 2010).