Pancreatic cancer is rare but quite aggressive. New research based on a study of half a million Americans over 50 years old shows that it is possible to reduce the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
The subjects were part of the American Association for Retired Persons Diet and Health Study between 1995 and 2005. This was a large effort, with half a million volunteers who were 50 years old or older. They filled out detailed diet questionnaires at the beginning of the decade-long study.
Does a Healthy Diet Reduce the Chance of Pancreatic Cancer?
The researchers discovered that those who had the healthiest eating patterns, with plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, were 15 percent less likely to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer during the study.
Men who were overweight or obese benefited most from healthy eating habits, even though they didn’t lose weight as a result. The researchers point out that the study does not establish cause and effect, since people who follow healthy eating patterns may also have other healthy habits.
Arem et al, Journal of National Cancer Institute, Sep. 4, 2013
Keeping a Healthy Weight:
The same study found that weight does make a difference. Those who were overweight or obese, especially for a prolonged period of time, were at greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Significant weight gain in older years also contributed to pancreatic cancer risk.
Stolzenberg-Solomon et al, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Oct. 2013
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