Carrots protect against breast cancer

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    Carrots protect against breast cancer

    Carrots protect against breast cancer

    Carrots are food for ordinary people. They are definitely not hip, cheap and some fashionable food bloggers even look down on them. But those very ordinary carrots seem to reduce the risk of cancer. Earlier we wrote that carrots might protect against prostate cancer and colon cancer. Today we are bothering you with a forgotten American epidemiological study from the last century that suggests that carrots also protect against breast cancer.

    Study
    The researchers interviewed 3543 women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer about their eating habits. The researchers focused on the foods with a lot of vitamin A or beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A.

    The researcher did the same with 9406 women who, as far as they knew, were healthy.

    Results
    The consumption of raw and cooked carrots reduced the risk of breast cancer. Cooked carrots seemed to offer slightly more protection than raw ones. Could this be because the body can better absorb the carotenoids from cooked carrots?

    Or is it because raw carrots are often eaten separately, and cooked carrots are usually part of a meal, which includes fats? Fats increase the uptake of carotenoids.

    With spinach things were a bit different. Raw spinach seeeds to offer protection, for cooked spinach the association wass less clear. The trend that breast cancer occurs less frequently in women as they eat cooked spinach more often was not statistically significant.

    A high total intake of spinach and carrots, raw and cooked, reduced the risk of breast cancer by 44 percent. Not bad.

    The researchers found no protective effect of foods with vitamin A. Nutritional supplements had no effect either.

    Conclusion
    "In summary, these data show a protective association between the intake of carrots and spinach and the risk of breast cancer, although this does not allow us to distinguish among several potential explanations for the relation", the reserachers wrote. "The findings are, however, consistent with a diet rich in these consistent with a diet rich in these foods having a modest protective effect against breast cancer."

    Source: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 1997 Nov;6(11):887-92.
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