Pancreatic Cancer risk reduced with higher dietary intake of Vitamin C, E, and Selenium

credit: National Cancer Institute Daniel Sone (Photographer) - PD

(Best Syndication News) - A study found that eating foods with adequate amounts of antioxidant vitamins C, E, and selenium decreased the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to two thirds. The researchers reported their findings in the online edition of the journal Gut.

The researchers suggest that one in 12 cases of pancreatic cancer might be preventable. Worldwide, over 250,000 people will die from pancreatic cancer each year. Only 3 percent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive past five years. Other risk factors that are believed to increase the risk for pancreatic cancer include smoking, genetics, and type 2 diabetes. Previously diet was suspected to be a factor.

The data came from the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer (EPIC) study, which involved 23,500 participants between the ages of 40 and 74. The Norfolk arm of the EPIC study started between 1993 and 1997.

The researchers had participants keep track of their food intake with a diary. They wrote down what they ate, how much, and how they prepared it for 7 days.

The food diary information was paired up with 11,000 food items that gave the nutrition values. The researchers used a computer program called DINER to calculate the nutrition information.

Forty-nine participants developed pancreatic cancer 10 years after they started the study. By 2012, eighty-six participants developed pancreatic cancer. The average survival after diagnosis was only six months.

The researchers compared those who developed pancreatic cancer against the nutritional values of 4,000 healthy participants to see if there were any variations.

Participants with the highest Selenium intake (top 25%) showed a reduced risk of developing pancreatic cancer by half compared with those who had the lowest intake (bottom 25%). Those who had the highest intake of vitamin C, E, and selenium (top 25%) were at a 67 percent reduced risk for developing the cancer compared to those who ate the least (bottom 25%).

The researchers said that other trials with antioxidants supplement intake did not show the same results. They suggest that the difference may be that the nutrients came from food sources and food may work differently than supplements.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

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