Researchers have found that a diet high in cholesterol and animal protein is linked to risk of a specific type of cancer of the stomach and esophagus that has been increasing rapidly. The researchers also found that plant-based nutrients such as dietary fiber, dietary beta-carotene, folic acid, vitamin C and vitamin B6 were associated with lower risk of these kinds of cancers.
The rate of a specific type of esophageal and stomach cancer, has increased by 300 percent since the mid-1970s, according to lead author Mayne, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale School of Medicine. The researchers interviewed patients and compared the nutrient intake of 1,095 people with stomach or esophageal cancer to that of 687 healthy people in a control group.
The team also looked at the participants' use of nutrient supplements. "We found that many animal-based nutrients found in foods of animal origin are strongly associated with risk of developing these types of cancers and we were able to identify nutrients that presumably would be protective," said Mayne. They further found that regular use of vitamin C supplements was associated with a 40 percent reduction in the risk of cancer in the middle and lower parts of the stomach.