Mediterranean diet linked to low cancer risk

June 1, 2010

in Health News

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A new study suggests that eating a diet similar to the Mediterranean diet may reduce risk of upper aerodigestive tract (UADT) cancers.  UADT cancers include cancers of the oral cavity and oropharynx, larynx and oesophagus.

The case-control study led by Samoli E and colleagues from the University of Athens Medical School in Athens, Greece, shows that those who adhere to a Mediterranean diet by modifying their diets by two units on a 1-9 scale is associated with a 30% reduction in the risk of UADT cancers.

In the study, the researchers compared 239 patients with incident UADT cancers and 194 controls from Athens for their dietary habits.  Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was assessed for each individual’s diet; a score ranging from 1 to 9 was given to indicate the commitment to the eating plan.

The score increases as consumption of plant foods and olive oil increased, while conversely, consumption of meat, dairy products and saturated fats decreased.

However, the researchers were not able to find any particular dietary component  associated with the reduced risk of the UADT cancers.

The Mediterranean diet has been associated with a reduced risk of a range of diseases, including infertility, diabetes, stomach cancer, birth defect, depression, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease,  among other illnesses.

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