NEWS2U Health & Wellness
Living Healthy in an Unhealthy World

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Diet seen to affect liver cancer risk: study

Certain foods, including milk and fruit, appear to reduce the likelihood of developing liver cancer, according to Italian researchers.

Their study, Dr. Renato Talamini told Reuters Health, "indicated that diet has a relevant role in the risk of this cancer. As for other types of cancer, particularly fruits and vegetables seem to confer a protective effect."

Talamini, at the National Tumor Institute in Aviano, and colleagues studied 185 patients with liver cancer and a comparison group of 412 "controls" without cancer. The results are reported in the International Journal of Cancer.

The participants' responses to dietary questionnaires showed that as intake of various foods went up, the risk of liver cancer went down. After accounting for other factors that could affect the risk, the team found that high intakes of milk and yoghurt reduced the chances of developing liver cancer by 78 percent.

High consumption of white meat lowered the risk by 56 percent, and with high intake of fruit, it went down by 52 percent. Vegetables, too, apparently had a protective effect, but this didn't reach significance from a statistical standpoint.

The researchers saw that the findings held good for patients with hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

Talamini advised that, to ward off liver cancer, one should "adopt a correct diet, rich in fruits and vegetables." Also important, he added, "is limiting consumption of alcohol beverages and avoiding HCV infection by practicing safe sex and eliminating needle sharing."