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Diet & Health : Cancer Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

High intake of flavonoids linked to lower risk of liver cancer
By David Liu, Ph. D.
Mar 23, 2008 - 4:34:44 PM

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SUNDAY March 23, 2008 ( -- Eating large amounts of flavonoid-containing vegetables may help reduce risk of liver cancer, according to a new study published in the March 19, 2008 issue of Cancer Causes Control.

The study found flavone intake mostly from spinach and peppers was inversely associated with viral or non-viral hepatocellular carcinoma.

Lagiou P from the University of Athens and colleagues meant to examine the role of six flavonoid classes in the etiology of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and cholangiocarcinoma (CAC).

HCC is a primary malignancy of the liver while CAC is a cancer of the bile ducts, which drain bile from the liver into the small intestine, according to wikipedia.

For the study, the researchers examined data and tested blood samples collected between 1995 and 1998 from 250 cases of viral HCC with hepatitis B or C and 83 non-viral HCC and six CAC and 360 controls who did not have HCC or HCC.

Those who had high intake of flavones were at lower risk of viral and non-viral HCC, the study found.  

Additionally, there seemed to be an inverse association between CAC and flavan-3-ols, anthocyanidins and total flavonoids.  But the researchers cautioned the size of cases was small to know if the result is reliable.

They concluded "We conclude that flavones may be inversely associated with HCC risk, irrespective of its dominant etiology (viral or non viral)."

A health observer affiliated with who was not part of the research team suggests that flavonoids may serve as a marker instead of a cause for lower risk of liver cancer although its possible positive role may not be excluded.  

He argued that high intake flavonoids or vegetables means that people likely follow a healthy lifestyle and diet, which may have an overall impact on the risk of liver cancer, probably others as well.

© 2004-2008 by unless otherwise specified

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