If you have been reading my blog, you are well aware that many studies have suggested that fruits might help reduce cancer, including breast cancer, risk. As some of my blogs have discussed, fruits like peaches, plums, mangos, and more have been shown to reduce breast cancer cell growth or to kill breast cancer cells in culture systems. These beneficial effects of fruits appear to be due to their various antioxidant phytochemicals.
Researchers in Japan recently published the results of their investigation into possible associations between citrus fruit consumption and cancer incidence. For this study, citrus consumption and cancer incidence was assessed in over 42,000 Japanese adults between 40-79 years of age. Between 1995 and 2003, 3,398 cancer cases were identified. Relative risks of cancer incidence was calculated for different levels of citrus fruit consumption: 'never', 'occasionally', '1-2 times/week', '3-4 times/week', and daily. The cancer investigators reported that
When all volunteers were assessed, daily citrus fruit consumption was associated with an 11% reduction in all-cancer incidence.
Daily citrus fruit consumption was linked to a 14% reduction in all-cancer risk in men and a 7% reduction in all-cancer risk in women.
Drinking 1 or more cups of green tea per day in addition to eating citrus fruit daily reduced all-cancer risk even more: 17% for all volunteers combined, 17% risk reduction in men, 18% reduction in risk for women.
This new cancer study continues to support the cancer fighting benefits of fruit consumption in general and citrus fruit consumption specifically. Furthermore, including both green tea and citrus fruit as part of one's healthy eating pattern had enhanced cancer fighting benefits. While this study was not specific to breast cancer and breast cancer incidence was not discussed in the study summary, previous studies have shown that many fruits and green tea have breast cancer fighting benefits. Phytochemicals with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties found in these fruits are likely to be at least partly responsible for the cancer fighting properties of citrus fruits.