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Turn to oranges and black tea for ovarian cancer protection

Posted:  Monday, November 03, 2014

British researchers have given one more alluring reason to sip a tall glass of iced black tea or glug a glass of refreshing orange juice. According to their research, dietary flavonoids found in black tea and citrus fruits and their juices may reduce the risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer.

Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, their three-decade long study evaluated the dietary habits of 171,940 women aged between 25–55 who were part of the Nurses' Health Study and Nurses' Health Study II.

For estimating the dietary intake of these women, the researchers evaluated their response on validated food-frequency questionnaires collected every 4 years. They found that the main dietary sources of flavonols were black tea, onions, and apples, while that of flavanones were citrus fruits (majority oranges) and their juices. During the 16–22 years of follow-up, 723 cases of medically confirmed ovarian cancer were noted.

The researchers found a lower risk of epithelial ovarian cancer in women who had the highest intakes of flavonols and flavanones as compared to women who reported the lowest intakes. The researchers also noted that the consumption of a couple of cups of black tea everyday was associated with a 31% reduction in ovarian cancer risk.

The dietary flavonoids seem to adjust key cellular signalling pathways and regulate cancer-inflammation pathways that could reduce ovarian cancer risk. Commenting on the study results, the lead researcher Aedin Cassidy said, “This is the first large-scale study looking into whether habitual intake of different flavonoids can reduce the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer. The main source of these compounds includes tea and citrus fruits and juices, which are readily incorporated into the diet, suggesting that simple changes in food intake could have an impact on reducing ovarian cancer risk.”

The researchers suggest increasing the intake of dietary flavonoids to prevent this extremely common form of cancer. Although the results are pretty encouraging, further studies are warranted to substantiate these findings say the researchers.

The study link - Click Here!