Diet 'has an indirect link to cancer risk'

6 September 2011

People can minimise their risk of requiring cancer treatment through better regulation of their diets, according to an expert.

Charlotte Stirling-Reed, nutrition consultant for, has noted that medical researchers have observed an indirect link between diet and cancer risk that is not yet fully understood.

Past studies have associated red and processed meat, salt and saturated fats with a heightened risk of bowel, stomach, oesophagus, mouth and breast cancer, while the antioxidants in fruit and vegetables can help to counteract this.

Ms Stirling-Reed also noted that being overweight or obese is recognised by the World Health Organization as a cancer risk factor.

The comments come in response to a recent paper published in the Nutrition and Cancer journal by the Marshall University School of Medicine, suggesting walnuts can help reduce the likelihood of cancer.

"Potentially, this study shows some beneficial results - however, it is hard to interpret the effects on mice into an effect for humans," said Ms Stirling-Reed.

Posted by Philip Briggs

1 Hardman, W Elaine et al, "Dietary Walnut Suppressed Mammary Gland Tumorigenesis in the C(3)1 TAg Mouse", Nutrition and Cancer, August 11th 2011

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