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Compounds in Fruits and Vegetables May Decrease Risk of Ovarian Cancer

A new study from Italy adds support to several others which show that organic plant flavonoids may have powerful anti-cancer properties. In this latest round of research, scientists found that the consumption of two types of flavonoids decreased the risk of ovarian cancer in women.

Flavonoids are a type of polyphenol high in antioxidants. It's this antioxidant content that researchers believe give flavonoids, and the foods in which they are found, powerful cancer fighting properties.

For the recent study, published in the August 2008 issue of the International Journal of Cancer, scientists reviewed data from a study conducted in Italy between 1992 and 1999. They compared flavanoid intake among 1,031 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer to 2,411 women who had been hospitalized for acute, non-cancer related systems.

The researchers measured the intake of six different types of flavonoids and found that two - flavonols and isoflavons - were associated with a decreased risk of ovarian cancer. Flavonols are abundant in many fruits and vegetables while isoflavons can be found in soy products and tea.

After adjusting their findings for outside influences like birth control use and family health history the researchers identified that women with the highest flavonol intake had a 37% decrease in risk for ovarian cancer. High isoflavon intake was associated with a 49% decrease.

In addition to being high in antioxidants, researchers believe that isoflavons may also help decrease ovarian cancer risk by blocking excess estrogen.

Maintaining a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, eating more soy products and drinking green or white tea are all good ways to increase your consumption of these potential cancer-fighting compounds.
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