Green vegetables cut cancer risk, says new research

Paris: Eating green vegetables does fight lung cancer amongst people with a particular genetic makeup, according to the International Agency for Cancer Research in France.

A study, published in the UK’s Lancet, found vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and sprouts helped prevent the disease even when eaten just once a week.

Although cruciferous vegetables have been credited with reducing the risk of lung cancer since they are rich in chemicals called isothiocyanates, which stop the uncontrolled division of cancer cells that allow tumours to grow.

These beneficial chemicals are removed in the bodies of many people by enzymes produced by the genes GSTM1 and GSTT1. But for people with inactive forms of the genes, retain the protective chemicals for longer which gives them greater protection.

The research studied 4,200 patients across Europe. Their DNA samples were taken and their diets monitored. Among those with an inactive GSTM1 gene, the vegetables had a 33 per cent protective effect against lung cancer. In individuals with an inactive form of GSTT1, it was 37 per cent. And those with both genes inactive were 72 per cent protected.