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Eating your 5-a-day has little impact on reducing cancer

7th April 2010

This article has been read 1664 times

A study reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, carried out by researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York, have reported that eating a daily recommendation of 5 fruits or vegetables a day has little benefit of warding off cancer.

The suggestion of the benefits of eating 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day was first announced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1990 and has since then been included in many health campaigns, including the UK's NHS and Change 4 Life health and lifestyle drives to get a healthier, fitter nation.

The reason that eating 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day was so heavily promoted was that researchers though there was a direct link between diet and the causes of cancer. However, this recent study suggests if there is a link, it may be limited.

This recent study looked at the eating and lifestyle habits of 500,000 people. Of this figure scientists running to study found that eating the recommended 5 portions of fruit and veg a day may only contribute to a reduction in cancer development of only 2.5%.

Food with the best impact, included tomatoes, which are said to help reduce the contraction of prostate cancer and broccoli, which is said to help fend off bowel cancer.

Although this figure seems small the World Cancer Research Fund stress that this figure is significant and would mean a reduction in at least 7,500 cases of cancer in the UK alone.

The World Cancer Research Fund have been keen to stress that it isn't only fruit and veg that play a part in the risk of developing cancer but smoking, alcohol consumption, weight, general diet and physical activity.

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