First study of its kind on how you can reduce your risk of breast cancer by almost 70 percent

First study of its kind on how you can reduce your risk of breast cancer by almost 70 percent

Is it possible to prevent the risk of breast cancer with a special diet? Yes, say scientists in the USA on the basis of a new study. If you want to prevent, all you have to do is reach for onions and garlic more often when cooking.

The study by the University of Buffelo and the University of Puerto Rico, which has now been published in the specialist magazine “Nutrion and Cancer”, should attract attention mainly due to the very strong risk minimization: According to the measurements, the number of breast cancer cases in women is falling by up to 67 percent when a combination of garlic and onions is consumed regularly. But how were these results obtained?

Puerto Rico as a test laboratory

Between 2008 and 2014, a total of 660 women took part in the study, which focuses entirely on the risk of breast cancer. They all come from the US suburb of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean. The region was specifically chosen because garlic and onions are used a lot in regional cuisine. With the “Sofrito” there is often a seasoning sauce on the menu that consists largely of onions and garlic.

During the survey period, 314 women enjoyed a garlic and onion-rich diet with Sofrito, while the others largely avoided it. There was no previous exposure to cancer. Care was also taken to ensure that both groups had comparable conditions, for example in terms of body mass index, risk factors such as smoking, and age and level of education.

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Breast cancer risk reduced by up to 67 percent

The result: the more garlic and onions the women consumed, the lower their risk of developing breast cancer. The largest difference was estimated at 67 percent and related to women in the test group who took Sofrito more than once a day.

Study leader Gauri Desai sums it up in the sentence: “We found that Puerto Rican women who combine onions and garlic, also through Sofrito, could be linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer.

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Healthy ingredients, fewer illnesses

Professor Linda Mu, lead author of the study, said, according to, the anti-carcinogenic properties of the two plants have been shown in previous studies, both in humans and in experiments with animals. The cause is probably the high proportion of flavonols and organosulfates. The substances could, among other things, ensure a higher proportion of oxygen in the blood, which helps to lower the risk of cancer, but also lowers the risk of cardiovascular problems.

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Study conditions allow general conclusions only to a limited extent

“” also cites criticisms of the surveys. The number of participants is too small to make general statements, especially in the control group, i.e. among those women who also do without garlic and onions. An inaccuracy, which the authors of the study themselves also see, lies in the varying amounts in consumption. Sofrito is usually mixed in the home kitchen, so the amount of the individual components is not standardized. The spice also contains other ingredients such as tomatoes, coriander and black pepper.

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