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Citrus Fruits May Help Prevent Cancer

A large scale study recently found that eating more citrus fruits may reduce the risk of a large range of cancers, particularly pancreatic and prostate cancer.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan and their findings were published in the September 2010 issue of the International Journal of Cancer.

The researchers analyzed data on over 40,000 participants who took part in the Ohsaki National Health Insurance Cohort between 1995 and 2003. During that 9 year time period the participants were routinely screened for cancer and their dietary habits were documented.

At the end of the study period the participants were divided into the following five groups based on their level of citrus consumption:

1. Never

2. Occasionally

3. 1 to 2 times per week

4. 3 to 4 times per week

5. Daily

When the researchers compared cancer rates between the groups they found that people who consumed citrus fruits daily had a significant reduction in cancer risk.

The relationship was especially strong for prostate and pancreatic cancer, with researchers observing a 37% and 38% reduction in cancer risk, respectively.

In addition, the researchers also measured the effects of co-consumption of citrus fruits and green tea. They found that people who drank one cup of green tea daily and ate citrus fruit daily had a 17% reduction in the overall risk of cancer.

Commenting on the mechanisms behind their findings, the researchers noted that previous lab studies have shown that the antioxidant compounds within citrus fruits provide a protective effect against some cancers.

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