The Nature Seychelles Green Health program has been advocating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and we offer a variety of seasonal green goodies to our members. Eat your fruits and veggies and you’ll have a healthier life, we say. Well, it’s not old wife’s tales after all. A new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute shows that carotenoids, micronutrients in fruits and vegetables, have anticarcinogenic properties.
It was known from previous studies that carotenoids reduces the development of tumours tumor as well as the proliferation of estrogen receptor–positive (ER+) and estrogen receptor–negative (ER-) breast cancers. Despite these results, the associations that specific carotenoids have with breast cancer were not clear.
The new study conducted an analysis of eight studies, which gathered over 80% of the world’s published data on plasma or serum carotenoids and breast cancer. The analysis included 3,055 case subjects.
The researchers found that in over 3,000 case subjects, higher levels of individual and total carotenoids in the body were related to lower breast cancer risk, particularly for ER- breast cancers. While some evidence has shown that carotenoids inhibit the growth of ER+ breast cancers as well, it’s possible that its effect is hidden by hormone related associations which overpower other risk factors. The researchers say that, “A diet high in carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables offers many health benefits, including a possible reduced risk of breast cancer.”
Source: A. Heather Eliassen, et al . 2012. Circulating Carotenoids and Risk of Breast Cancer: Pooled Analysis of Eight Prospective Studies JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2012) 104(24): 1905-1916