Cruciferous Vegetables Reduce Pancreatic Cancer Risk

Regular consumption of large servings of cruciferous vegetables lowers the risk of developing pancreatic cancer, according to a recent Chinese study. Increased intake of cruciferous vegetables was found to reduce pancreatic cancer odds ratio to 0.78 in this study.

Cruciferous vegetables are a class of vegetables with cross-shaped flowers. Cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, turnips, watercress, radish, and Brussels sprouts are members of this family of vegetables.

The Anti-Cancer Effects of Cruciferous Vegetables

These vegetables are rich sources of phytochemicals, such as sulforaphane, benzyl isothiocyanate, and phenethyl isothiocyanate. These phytochemicals have shown potent anti-carcinogenic activity in laboratory studies. In addition, some human studies have linked high dietary intake of cruciferous vegetables to decreased pancreatic cancer risk.

Cruciferous Vegetables Inhibit Pancreatic Cancer Cells Development and Proliferation

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 53,670 US men and women are expected to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017 and 43,090 people will likely die from the disease this year. Though the cause of pancreatic cancer is not fully understood, diets, lifestyle, body fat, and diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, seem to play to a role in the etiology, development and prevention of pancreatic cancer.

In order to clarify the role of cruciferous vegetable in the prevention of pancreatic cancer, researchers from China performed a meta-analysis on 4 cohort and 5 case-control studies conducted in China, Europe, and North America between 1989 and 2012. These studies examined the effect of cruciferous vegetable intake on pancreatic cancer risk in 3,207 subjects. When all the data from the 9 different studies were combined together, the researchers observed a decline in pancreatic cancer risk among subjects with high dietary intake of cruciferous vegetables compared to those who rarely consume or totally avoid these types of vegetables.

These meta-analysis study findings confirm that cruciferous vegetables clearly have a role to play in the prevention of pancreatic cancer. Individuals who want to maximize their pancreatic cancer risk reduction should consider eating plenty of cruciferous vegetables on a regular basis. Bon appetite.

Additional Information:

(1) Cruciferous Vegetable Consumption and the Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

(2) American Cancer Society Pancreatic Cancer Statistics

(3) Cruciferous Vegetables Protect Against Cancer