Scientists have long suspected that a diet rich in vegetables and fruits might protect against certain types of cancer. A large cohort study examined the relationship between diet and the risk of invasive bladder cancer. There were more than 185,000 adults in this study, which lasted for approximately 12.5 years.
The research shows that the women who ate the most fruits and vegetables were least likely to develop bladder cancer. This is the sixth most common cancer diagnosed in the United States. The difference between those who ate the most fresh produce and those who ate the least was about 50 to 60%, depending upon which vegetables or fruits were included in the analysis. Oddly, vegetable and fruit consumption did not appear to affect men’s risk of bladder cancer. Those who were smokers, however, did benefit from a lower risk of this cancer if they ate more vegetables. Smoking is the leading risk factor for bladder cancer in this country.
The bottom line is that women can lower their risk of this cancer by eating more vegetables and fruits, and it won’t hurt men to do the same.
[Journal of Nutrition, online June 5, 2013]