According to an article recently published in the International Journal of Cancer, high vegetable consumption can reduce the risk of death from liver cancer.
The liver is the largest organ in the body and is responsible for over 500 functions. These include the secretion of glucose, proteins, vitamins, and fats; the production of bile; the processing of hemoglobin; and the detoxification of numerous substances.
Researchers from Japan recently conducted a study to evaluate the potential association between vegetable consumption and the risk of death from liver cancer. This study included over 6,000 individuals aged 40 to 70 years. The follow-up period was between 1986 and 1999. Vegetable consumption was divided into three groups: once per week or less, two to four times per week, or daily intake.
- Death from liver cancer was reduced by nearly 40% among individuals who consumed vegetables two to four times per week and by 75% among those who consumed vegetables daily, compared to the group of patients who only consumed vegetables once per week or less.
- Among individuals with a history of hepatitis and cirrhosis, those who consumed vegetables two to four times per week had a reduced risk of death from liver cancer of approximately 40% while those who ate vegetables daily had a 63% reduction, compared to those who consumed vegetables once per week or less.
The researchers concluded that greater consumption of vegetables significantly reduced the risk of death from liver cancer among individuals in Japan, where liver cancer is more prevalent than in the United States. These results provide further evidence that consumption of fruits and vegetables may be associated with a reduction in the risks of certain cancers.
Reference: Pham T-M, Fujino Y, Ide R, et al. Prospective Study of Vegetable Consumption and Liver Cancer in Japan. International Journal of Cancer. 2006;119:2408 -2411.