Good News for Vegetable Lovers

Jan. 6, 2000
A study shows that eating cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, can substantially reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Finally, a reward for eating all of your broccoli. All vegetables -- especially broccoli, cabbage and their cruciferous cousins -- may substantially reduce the risk of prostate cancer, according to researchers at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center.

Eating just three servings of vegetables a day can cut a man's risk of prostate cancer nearly in half.

While carrots, beans, greens and cooked tomatoes all were found to decrease risk, the strongest effect was for cruciferous vegetables, according to finding that appeared in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

"The bottom line is that if you eat a lot of vegetables, you can cut your risk of prostate cancer by about 45 percent," said Dr. Alan Kristal, co-investigator of the study. "And, if some of those vegetables are from the cruciferous family, like broccoli and cabbage, you may reduce your risk even further."

The study looked at the associations of total fruit and vegetable consumption, as well as specific types of fruits and vegetables, on prostate-cancer risk in 1,230 Seattle-area men.

Half of the men had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and the other half were randomly selected men.

A unique feature of the study was the fact that it examined risks for prostate cancer in younger men, ages 40 to 64.

The men were interviewed about their dietary habits three to five years prior to diagnosis. They also completed a detailed dietary questionnaire that asked how much and how often they ate 99 foods.

The study findings showed that men who ate three or more servings of vegetables a day had a 48 percent lower risk of prostate cancer, compared to men who ate fewer than one serving a day.

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