University of Hawaii Cancer Center Researcher Song-Yi Park, PhD, along with her colleagues, recently discovered that a greater consumption of fruits and vegetables may lower the risk of invasive bladder cancer in women.
The investigation was conducted as part of the Multiethnic Cohort (MEC) Study, established in 1993 to assess the relationships among dietary, lifestyle, genetic factors, and cancer risk. Park and her fellow researcher’s analyzed data collected from 185,885 older adults over a period of 12.5 years, of which 581 invasive bladder cancer cases were diagnosed (152 women and 429 men).
After adjusting for variables related to cancer risk (age, etc.) the researchers found that women who consumed the most fruits and vegetables had the lowest bladder cancer risk. For instance, women consuming the most yellow-orange vegetables were 52% less likely to have bladder cancer than women consuming the least yellow-orange vegetables. The data also suggested that women with the highest intake of vitamins A, C, and E had the lowest risk of bladder cancer. No associations between fruit and vegetable intake and invasive bladder cancer were found in men.
“Our study supports the fruit and vegetable recommendation for cancer prevention, said Park. “However, further investigation is needed to understand and explain why the reduced cancer risk with higher consumption of fruits and vegetables was confined to only women.”