Navigation Links
Fruits, vegetables and teas may protect smokers from lung cancer, UCLA researchers report

Tobacco smokers who eat three servings of fruits and vegetables per day and drink green or black tea may be protecting themselves from lung cancer, according to a first-of-its-kind study by UCLA cancer researchers.

UCLA researchers found that smokers who ingested high levels of natural chemicals called flavonoids in their diet had a lower risk of developing lung cancer, an important finding since more than 90 percent of lung cancers are caused by tobacco smoking.

The study was published this month in the journal CANCER.

What we found was extremely interesting, that several types of flavonoids are associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer among smokers, said Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, a researcher at UCLAs Jonsson Cancer Center and a professor of public health and epidemiology. The findings were especially interesting because tobacco smoking is the major risk factor for lung cancer.

Flavonoids are water-soluble plant pigments that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, both of which can counteract damage to tissues. For the UCLA study, researchers looked at 558 people with lung cancer and 837 people who did not have lung cancer and analyzed their dietary history.

Researchers found that study participants who ate foods containing certain flavonoids seemed to be protected from developing lung cancer. Zhang said the flavonoids that appeared to be the most protective included catechin, found in strawberries and green and black teas, kaempferol, found in Brussels sprouts and apples, and quercetin, found in beans, onions and apples.

So should smokers run out and stock up on the teas, apples, beans and strawberries? Quitting smoking is the best course of action, Zhang said, but eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking more black and green teas wont hurt.

Since this study is the first of its type, I would usually be hesitant to make any recommendations to people about their diet, Zhang said. We really need to have several larger studies with similar results to confirm our finding. However, its not a bad idea for everyone to eat more fruits and vegetables and drink more tea.

Zhang said flavonoids protect against lung cancer by blocking the formation of blood vessels that tumors develop so they can grow and spread, a process called angiogenesis. They also stop cancer cells from growing, allowing for naturally programmed cell death, or apoptosis, to occur.

The antioxidant properties found in the flavonoids also may work to counteract the DNA damaging effects of tobacco smoking, Zhang said, explaining why they affected the development of lung cancer in smokers but not in non-smokers.

The naturally occurring chemicals may be working to reduce the damage caused by smoking, Zhang said.

The next step, Zhang said, are laboratory-based studies of flavonoids on cell lines and animal models to determine how they are protecting smokers from developing lung cancer. And in addition to larger studies to confirm these findings, other studies need to be done to see if the protective effects of flavonoids extend to other smoking-related cancers, such as bladder, head and neck and kidney cancers.

Zhang and his team also plan to study which types of fruits and vegetables have the highest levels of the flavonoids found to be helpful in this study and what the optimal number of servings per day might be to provide the greatest protection.


Contact: Kim Irwin
University of California - Los Angeles

Related biology news :

1. Kids eat more fruits, vegetables when schools offer salad bar
2. Chemical in red wine, fruits and vegetables stops cancer, heart disease, depending on the dose
3. Got carrots? Vegetables may have bone to pick as calcium providers
4. Nitrates in vegetables protect against gastric ulcers
5. Rain forest protection works in Peru
6. Same gene protects from 1 disease, opens door to another
7. Conservation International and Toyota partner to protect Philippines rain forests
8. Fungus genome yielding answers to protect grains, people and animals
9. Genes that both extend life and protect against cancer identified
10. Intravenous gene therapy protects normal tissue of mice during whole-body radiation
11. Rosemary chicken protects your brain from free radicals
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015  Connected health pioneer, ... the explosion of technology-enabled health and wellness, and the ... book, The Internet of Healthy Things ... or smartphones even existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice president, Connected ... health care delivery, moving care from the hospital or ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... SAN JOSE, Calif. , Oct. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... human interface solutions, today announced that Google has adopted ... family of touch controller solutions to power its newest ... Nexus 6P by Huawei. --> ... ecosystem partners like Google to provide strategic collaboration in ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... GOLETA, California , October 23, 2015 ... and SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) announce a mobile plug and ... captured during interactive real-world tasks SensoMotoric Instruments ... of their established wearable solutions for eye tracking and ... behavior captured with SMI Eye Tracking Glasses 2w ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The United States Golf Association ... 2016 USGA Green Section Award. Presented annually since 1961, the USGA Green Section Award ... work with turfgrass. , Clarke, of Iselin, N.J., is an extension specialist ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ... today reported financial results for the quarter ended ... expressed in Canadian dollars and presented under International ... United States ," said Andrew Rae ... advancements regarding iCo-008 are not only value enriching ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... IIROC on behalf of the Toronto Stock Exchange, confirms ... there are no corporate developments that would cause the ... --> --> About Aeterna Zentaris ... . --> Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... This fall, global software solutions leader SAP and AdVenture ... develop and pitch their BIG ideas to improve health and wellness in their schools. ... to win the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an all-expenses paid trip to Super ...
Breaking Biology Technology: