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Med diets 'lower womb cancer risks'

01 June 2015 09:26

Scientists have discovered further benefits from Mediterranean diets

Scientists have discovered further benefits from Mediterranean diets

The benefits of Mediterranean diets are well documented. Now Italian scientists have shown that they may halve women's risk from womb cancer too.

IRCCS-Instituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche researchers examined the food intake of over 5,000 females, then compared their womb cancer rates.

What is the Mediterranean diet?

It is primarily, but not exclusively, healthy foods from the Spain/Southern Italy/Greece region.

It involves moderate dairy consumption and a low meat and meat-related product intake. The diet's main staples are:

- vegetables

- nuts

- fruits

- cereals

- olive oil and other mono-unsaturated fats

- fish

- potatoes

What the study found

Women who ate:

- from seven to nine items on the Mediterranean diet list cut their risk from womb cancer by 57%

- six items were found to have a 46% lowered risk

- five items were found to have a 34% lowered risk

Any lower than five items and the chances of developing the disease did not substantially reduce at all, compared with the sample's average.


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Stat attack

- roughly 8,500 womb cancer diagnoses are made every year in Britain

- rates have risen by about 50% since the beginning of the 1990s

What the experts say

Cristina Bosetti, the study's head researcher, said it gives additional weight to scientists' perceptions of how people's day-to-day choices impact on cancer risks.

These include how we eat - with a balanced, healthy diet key - and the extent to which we exercise.

Julie Sharp, Cancer Research UK's health information head, said the results need further verification.

Dr Sharp said this was because the research entailed women trying to recall foods they had consumed years ago.

She said that being overweight and age can raise people's risk of developing womb cancer.

The British Journal of Cancer has published the new research.