Prevention is better than cure. It is rightly said we are what we eat and maintaining our diets, especially for the prevention of cancer, should be of a prime priority for all of us. Healthy eating is a goal pursued by many organizations.
A recent study has evaluated 3 validated dietary recommendations, namely the Alternate Healthy Eating Index, the WCRF/AICR (World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research) score and the French Nutrition and Health Program-Guidelines Score as well as MEDI-LITE score (Mediterranean diet). It is founded that although all these diets proffer reduced risk of cancer, WCRF/AICR recommendations are especially linked with reduced cancer risks. Srour, one of the researchers, added that about 35% of breast cancer and 45% of colorectal cancer can be prevented with a better nutritional diet.
Data from NutriNet-Sante study was examined for comparing the four dietary scores. 41,534 volunteers participated in the study who haven’t been diagnosed with cancer before the inclusion in the study. Participants followed web-based dietary records, mentioning all the food and drinks ingested during twenty-four hours for six months. Researches studied their patterns in accordance with the four nutritional scores. From May 2009- 1 January 2017, about 1,489 participants developed cancer (488 breast cancer, 118 colorectal cancers and 222 prostate cancers). The associations with diets were further studied.
The WCRF/AICR index proved to be more cancer-preventing with strong statistical and predictive backup, according to the researchers, Srour and Touvier. An increase of one point in this index was linked with 12% downfall in overall risk of cancer (14% for breast cancer ad 12% for prostate cancer).
Synergistic aspects of a healthy diet are also important, according to the researchers; more exercise can help reduce low blood pressure or counter high-sodium food effects, antioxidants from vegetables and fruits can counter oxidative damage caused by red or processed meat to DNA.
WCRF/ACIR recommendation is specially built with cancer prevention as the motive in consideration, it also discourages the use of alcohol, which according to WCRF poses a serious risk of post-menopause breast, esophagus, colorectal, liver, oropharyngeal cancers. Hence, an overall balanced healthy diet and lifestyle can play a major role in cancer prevention. Physical activity should be kept up, alcohol consumptions should be reduced and better nutritional diet should be followed.