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Vegetables, antioxidants may lower lymphoma risk
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Roman Bystrianyk
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Joined: 02 May 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 2:53 pm    Post subject: Vegetables, antioxidants may lower lymphoma risk Reply with quote

Amy Norton, "Vegetables, antioxidants may lower lymphoma risk",
Reuters, June 26, 2006,

Eating plenty of leafy greens, broccoli and Brussels sprouts may help
ward off the blood cancer non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, research findings

In a study of more than 800 U.S. adults with and without non-Hodgkin's
lymphoma (NHL), researchers found that those who ate the most
vegetables had a 42 percent lower risk of the cancer than those with
the lowest intakes.

In particular, leafy greens like spinach and kale, and cruciferous
vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, seemed to
be protective.

Similarly, the study found, two nutrients found in green vegetables --
lutein and zeaxanthin -- were related to a lower NHL risk. The same was
true of zinc, a mineral obtained through meat, nuts and beans.

The "working hypothesis" is that the antioxidant activity of these
vegetables and nutrients explains the connection, said study co-author
Dr. James R. Cerhan of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in
Rochester, Minnesota.

NHL begins in the lymphatic system, a component of the immune system
that carries disease-fighting white blood cells called lymphocytes. The
cancer arises when these cells become abnormal and begin to divide

Antioxidants help protect cells from such damage by neutralizing
molecules called reactive oxygen species. These substances are
byproducts of normal body processes, as well as environmental exposures
like cigarette smoke, and in excess they can damage body tissue and
lead to disease.

The new findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical
Nutrition, suggest "yet another benefit" of eating your vegetables,
Cerhan told Reuters Health.

Vegetables and fruits are probably the best way to get antioxidants, he
said, because these foods have a host of other nutrients that may all
work together to bestow health benefits.

The study included 466 adults with NHL who were enrolled in a national
cancer registry, along with 391 cancer-free adults who were matched to
patients by age, race and sex. Both groups answered questions about
their diet and other health and lifestyle factors.

In general, those who ate more than 20 servings of vegetables a week
had a 42 percent lower risk of NHL than those who ate eight weekly
servings or fewer. When the researchers looked at specific nutrients,
lutein and zeaxanthin stood out; people with the highest intakes were
about half as likely as those with the lowest to develop NHL.

This makes sense, Cerhan noted, given that the major vegetable sources
of these antioxidants, including spinach, kale and broccoli, also
seemed particularly protective against the cancer.

Zinc, a mineral important to immune function, was also linked to a
lower lymphoma risk. But Cerhan said this has not been seen in previous
studies, and more research is needed to know what to make of it.

SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 2006.
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