Mediterranean Diet Linked to Lower Stomach Cancer Risk

"I just wish we'd found this cancer a year ago"

The Mediterranean diet is associated with a 33% reduction in stomach cancer, according to a study just published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Stomach cancer (aka gastric cancer) is uncommon in the U.S.  Most cases are advanced and incurable at the time of diagnosis.  So prevention is ideal.

European investigators studied 485,000 people over the course of nine years, during which 449 cases of stomach cancer were found.  Surveys determined how closely the food consumption of study participants tracked nine key components of the Mediterranean diet.  Compared with people who had low adherence to the Mediterranean diet, those with high adherence had 33% less risk of developing stomach cancer.

The Mediterranean diet has long been associated with a lower risk of cancer: specifically, cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, and uterus.  We can add stomach cancer to the list now.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Reference:  Buckland, Genevieve, et al.  Adherence to a Mediterranean diet and risk of gastric adenocarcinoma within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort studyAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition, December 9, 2009, epub ahead of print.  doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28209

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