Tea and citrus fruits and juices are associated with a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer, according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA), reported Science Daily.
The research reveals that women who consume foods containing flavonols and flavanones (both subclasses of dietary flavonoids) significantly decrease their risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer, the fifth-leading cause of cancer death among women, according to the report, noting the research team studied the dietary habits of 171,940 women aged between 25 and 55 for more than three decades.
Leading the study, Professor Aedin Cassidy, said that those who consumed food and drinks high in flavonols (found in tea, red wine, apples and grapes) and flavanones (found in citrus fruit and juices) were less likely to develop the disease, citing the report and adding that ovarian cancer affects more than 6,500 women in the UK each year, and in the U.S. about 20,000 women are diagnosed each year.
“This is the first large-scale study looking into whether habitual intake of different flavonoids can reduce the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer,” said Cassidy. “We found that women who consume foods high in two sub-groups of powerful substances called flavonoids — flavonols and flavanones — had a significantly lower risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer.”
According to Cassidy, the main sources of these compounds include tea and citrus fruits and juices, which are readily incorporated into the diet, suggesting that simple changes in food intake could have an impact on reducing ovarian cancer risk. “In particular, just a couple of cups of black tea every day was associated with a 31 percent reduction in risk,” said Cassidy.
The research was the first to comprehensively examine the six major flavonoid subclasses present in the normal diet with ovarian cancer risk, and the first to investigate the impact of polymers and anthocyanins, according to Science Daily, noting the study was led by Cassidy and Shelley Tworoger, professor, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and data was derived from the Nurses’ Health Study.
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