breast cancer because they contain phenolic acids
A study by researchers at the University of Navarra and Jaen University in Spain found that certain foods could protect against the risk of post-menopausal breast cancer because they contain phenolic acids.
Phenolic acids are found in a variety of plant foods, including grains, blueberries, citrus fruits, wheat and rice.
For the study, presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Glasgow, the researchers looked at the relationship between phenolic acid and breast cancer in 11,028 women.
Each participant analyzed their phenolic acid intake over an average period of 12 years, and during that time the researchers found 101 cases of breast cancer.
To ascertain how much phenolic acid they consumed, women were asked to report how often they consumed 136 different types of food through a questionnaire.
These quinerary results are then compared with a database that has information about how rich phenolic acid is in each food.
The researchers found that those who consumed the highest hydroxicinamic acid, a form of naturally occurring phenolic acid, benefited from a reduction in the risk of breast cancer by 62 percent compared to those who consumed the least.
But of the various types of hydroxycinamic acid, chlorogenic acid, which is usually found in fruits and vegetables, turned out to have the strongest effect in terms of risk reduction.
Women who consume the highest amount of this type of nutrition have a 65 percent reduced risk of breast cancer.
"Higher hydroxycinamicic acid intake, especially from chlorogenic acids found in fruits and vegetables has been associated with a reduced risk of post-menopausal breast cancer," the researchers concluded.
"This research is interesting because it emphasizes the importance of consuming foods high in fruits and vegetables for cancer prevention," said Susannah Brown, acting head of research interpretation at the World Cancer Research Fund, as reported on the Independent page on Wednesday.
"It also shows some potential biological reasons why fruits and vegetables protect you from cancer," he added.