Flavonoids may reduce stomach cancer risk for women

October 30, 2012

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that consuming flavonoids through food may be linked to a lower stomach cancer risk in women.

The researchers examined ongoing research following 477,312 men and women in 10 European countries who participated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. All of the participants were between 35 and 70 years old, and had been part of the study for about 11 years. Validated dietary questionnaires and lifestyle information were collected at baseline. A food-composition database on flavonoids and lignans was compiled by using data from U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and Phenol-Explorer databases.

During the 11 years, there were 683 cases of stomach cancer, of which 288 occurred in women.

The researchers analyzed the participants’ food diaries to see how many flavonoids they ate on average, and then they checked to see whether or not that amount was linked to the participant’s cancer risk. They found that women who got more than 580 mg of flavonoids per day had a 51% lower risk of developing stomach cancer than women who consumed no more than 200 mg a day.

However, there was no link between flavonoid consumption and stomach cancer risk for men. In addition, it should be noted that other factors, such as a healthier lifestyle, may play a role in the findings.