Do citrus fruits help prevent cancer?

Do citrus fruits help prevent cancer
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We already know citrus fruits are vitamin C powerhouses that are very beneficial to our immune systems, but are these versatile fruits also effective at preventing cancer?

Researchers from the Department of Preventive Medicine at Cheju National University in Korea performed meta-analyses on four different types of cancers between 2008 and 2013 and published their findings in various journals.

Let’s see if the results score another point in citrus fruits’ favor.

Citrus fruits and pancreatic cancer

The researchers identified four case-control studies and five cohort studies up to December 2007. Their summary found that there was an inverse association in risk of pancreatic cancer with intake of citrus fruits to the tune of a 17 percent decrease in risk.

Citrus fruits and stomach cancer

A summary of six hospital-based case-control studies, six community-based case-control studies, and two cohort studies also showed an inverse association in risk of stomach cancer with intake of citrus fruits. This time, they found the existing scientific literature to show a 28 percent reduction in risk among those with a high intake of citrus fruits.

Citrus fruits and prostate cancer

Analyzing six case-control studies, one nested case-control study and four cohort studies, the researchers’ analysis did not show a reduction in risk of prostate cancer associated with the intake of citrus fruits. They did note, however, that there was great variability across the studies they identified.

Citrus fruits and breast cancer

While not nearly as large, their analysis of the literature showed a 10 percent reduction in risk of breast cancer associated with high intake of citrus fruits.

Summary of citrus fruits against cancer

While none of the studies showed any true home runs, there were several base hits.

To sum up, the analysis of the available literature showed intake of citrus fruits to reduce the risk of:

  • pancreatic cancer by 17 percent;
  • stomach cancer by 28 percent;
  • breast cancer by 10 percent;
  • and no change of risk of prostate cancer

This is yet again another great tool in our prevention toolbox, although more information is certainly necessary to determine whether or not eating more citrus fruits is appropriate for everyone, how much should be consumed, and what form might be best or most appropriate, among other questions.

Which means, as always, talk to your licensed healthcare practitioner before adding citrus fruits to your diet plan, health plan, or treatment plan in order to determine if doing so is right, safe, and appropriate for you. This article is for informational purposes only.


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