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Acta Biomed. 2006 Aug;77(2):118-23.

Diet and cancer.

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  • 1Department of Thoracic Surgery, University of L'Aquila, G. Mazzini Hospital, Teramo, Italy.


The aim of our study is to evaluate the relationship between diet and cancer development. It has been estimated that 30-40% of all kinds of cancer can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle and dietary measures. A low use of fibres, the intake of red meat and an imbalance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats may contribute to increase the risk of cancer. On the other hand, the assumption of lots of fruit and vegetables may lower the risk of cancer. Protective elements in a cancer-preventive diet include selenium, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin D, chlorophyll and antioxidants such as carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, cryptoxanthin). Ascorbic acid has limited benefits if taken orally, but it effective through intravenous injection. A supplementary use of oral digestive enzymes and probiotics is also an anticancer dietary measure. A diet drawn up according to the proposed guidelines could decrease the incidence of breast, colon-rectal, prostate and bronchogenic cancer.

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