Journal of the National Cancer Institute
 (1996 Mar 20) 88(6):340-8

Premenopausal breast cancer risk and intake of vegetables, fruits, and related nutrients.
Freudenheim JL Marshall JR  Vena JE Laughlin R Brasure JR Swanson MK  Nemoto T  GrahamS
Department of Social and Preventive Medicine School of Medicine and Biomedical Science State University of New York at Buffalo 14214 USA.

Many studies indicate that a diet  high in vegetables and fruits may protect against breast cancer. We conducted a case-control study of diet, including the intake of non-food supplements, and premenopausal breast cancer risk.  We evaluated in detail usual intake of vegetables and fruits (each  measured as the total reported grams consumed for all queried  vegetables and fruit), vitamins C and E, folic acid, individual  carotenoids, and dietary fiber with its components...   A strong inverseassociation between total vegetables intake and risk was observed (fourth quartile OR=0.46; 95% CI=0.28-  0.74). This inverse association was found to be independent of vitamin C, alpha-tocopherol, folic acid, dietary fiber, and alpha-carotene.Adjusting for beta-carotene or lutein + zeaxanthin somewhat  attenuated the inverse association with vegetables intake.  CONCLUSIONS: In this population, intake of vegetables appears to decrease premenopausal breast cancer risk. This effect may be related, in part, to beta-carotene and lutein + zeaxanthin in vegetables. It appears, however, that, of the nutrients and food components examined, no single dietary factor  explains the effect.  Evaluated components found together in vegetables may have a synergistic effect on breast cancer risk; alternatively, other unmeasured factors in these foods may also influence risk.

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