Tea and Citrus as Protection Against Ovarian Cancer
New research reveals that women who routinely consume tea and/or citrus fruits are less likely to be diagnosed with deadly ovarian cancer than women who don’t consume these foods. These foods are rich in natural flavonols and flavanones; dietary components responsible for some of the flavors and colors of these foods. These compounds are plant pigments that tend to be highly beneficial. In general, colorful fruits and vegetables are good for you because many of the very pigments that give these foods their bright colors are beneficial compounds.
To determine what effects these “flavonoids” might have on long-term health, British investigators studied the diets of more than 170,000 women for three decades. Women who had consistently consumed the most flavanones and flavonols were significantly less likely be diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer. This type of cancer is presently the fifth-leading cause of cancer death among women.
Flavonols are present in many foods, but they’re especially well represented in foods such as red wine, tea, apples and grapes. One example is quercetin, which is found in apples and some other plant foods. Quercetin is believed to provide significant health benefits. Research suggests that quercetin provides substantial protection against cardiovascular disease, stroke, and even diabetes. Flavanones are abundant in citrus.
“We found that women who consume foods high in two sub-groups of powerful substances called flavonoids—flavonols and flavanones—had a significantly lower risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer,” said Prof Aedin Cassidy, from the Department of Nutrition at University of East Anglia's Norwich Medical School. “The main sources of these compounds include 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…In particular, just a couple of cups of black tea every day was associated with a 31 percent reduction in risk.” To which I say, “drink up!”
A. Cassidy, T. Huang, M. S. Rice, E. B. Rimm, S. S. Tworoger. Intake of dietary flavonoids and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2014; 100 (5): 1344 DOI: 10.3945/%u200Bajcn.114.088708