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Flavanols May Lower Risk of Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system.  A recent study suggests that regularly consuming flavanols and flavanone bioactive compounds that are usually found in tea, citrus, fruit, and fruit juices may lower the risk of ovarian cancer by up to 21%.

Participants in the study included 171,940 women between the ages of 25 and 55 years old. All of the women completed a questionnaire at the onset of the study in order to determine their risk of developing cancer or cardiovascular diseases. They also completed biennial follow-up questionnaires to keep track of changes in lifestyle and disease diagnoses. The women also filled out food frequency questionnaires every four years in order to assess flavonoid intake.

The researchers found that oranges and orange juice were the main sources of flavonoids, consumed by 27% and 54% of participants, respectively. Black tea accounted for 31% of flavonoid consumption, onions 20%, and apples 10%. 

After analyzing the data, the researchers found that intake of 75 mg/day of flavanols and flavanone was associated with up to a 21% reduced risk of ovarian cancer.

Researchers from the University of East Anglia in the UK conducted the study. It was published in the October 2014 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Previous studies have shown that flavanols may decrease inflammation, protect DNA from damage, and improve heart and brain health by increasing blood flow.

Foods high in flavanols include citrus fruits, grapes, strawberries, tea, cooked greens and dark chocolate, all of which are can be easily incorporated into your daily diet.

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