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Onion and Garlic Could Help Protect Against Cancer; Study Finds

TAIWAN – Scientists from the First Hospital of China Medical University have found in a recent study that intake of Onion and Garlic in a sufficient amount could help protect against bowel cancer. Onion, garlic, leeks, chives are classified as allium vegetable. And these are easily available all across the world and have been used in meals for taste. In a recent study, scientists have noticed the positive effect of onion and garlic intake in a daily meal. Because of the presence of bioactive compounds namely, flavanols and organosulfur in allium vegetables, they are effective to prevent bowel cancer, scientists confessed.

Colorectal cancer, also known as bowel cancer may be caused by the high intake of processed and red meat. This is the well know fact that scientists were aware of but they had no knowledge about the health benefits of allium vegetables to protect against bowel cancer. In order to effectively study the role of allium vegetables in protecting against bowel cancer, scientists matched 833 individuals with colorectal cancer with 833 control participants without it, who were of similar sex, age and living in the same locations. While interviewing the participants, their dietary habits were recorded using a validated food frequency questionnaire.

Scientists found that those adults who intake the highest levels of allium vegetables amount to have 79 percent lower risk of bowel cancer than those with the lowest intake. In the earlier study, there were conflicting results in the relationship between allium vegetables and colorectal cancer risk. However, now more evidence is coming on the relationship between intake of allium vegetables and colorectal cancer risk. This can be seen in a study with Southern European participants which showed “an inverse association between the frequency of use of allium vegetables and the risk of several common cancers.” Also, a meta-analysis assessed links between allium vegetable intake and the presence of adenomatous polyps, which contributes to colorectal cancer. The authors concluded that a high intake of total allium vegetables may be associated with a risk reduction of colorectal adenomatous polyps.

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