The incidence of leukemia in children under age 5 in Britain has increased by more than 50 percent over the last 50 years. Modern lifestyle factors, such as exposure to radiation, benzene, and environmental pollutants, are thought to play a major role in the rising incidence.
Research conducted shows that the low incidence of leukemia in Asia is due in part to the protective effect of the spice turmeric, which is widely used in Asian cooking. He says this spice and its coloring agent may lessen the effects of cigarette smoke, radiation-induced damage, and damage from eating certain processed foods.
Researchers also found that regular consumption of oranges and/or bananas during the first two years of life was associated with a reduced risk of childhood leukemia. They say these findings are consistent with the role of fruits and vegetables in adult cancers. Researchers attribute the association to the vitamin C in oranges and potassium in bananas.
Thus researchers say the increasing incidence combined with emerging concerns about the long-term effects of leukemia treatments makes prevention, such as diet, a top priority.