Garlic and onions could help protect against stomach cancer, says a massive European-based study. The study, part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), followed 521,457 subjects in 10 European countries with an average age of 52. It is said to be the largest cohort study on fruit and vegetable intake and the incidence of stomach (gastric) cancer in Western countries and the first to look at adeno-carcinoma of the esophagus.
After an average of 6.5 years of follow-up, 400 cases of gastric cancer and 188 cases of esophagus cancer had been reported. While total vegetable intake was not associated with a decreased risk of gastric cancer, the researchers report that an increase in the intake of onions and garlic of 10 grams per day was associated with a 30 per cent reduction in the risk of intestinal gastric cancer.
This is not the first time that onions have been linked to reduction in the risk of certain cancers. US researchers recently reported that onion extracts could inhibit the growth of liver and colon cancers in vitro. A large-scale epidemiological Iowa Women's Health Study looked at the garlic consumption in 41,000 middle-aged women. Results showed that women who regularly consumed garlic had 35% lower risk of developing colon cancer.
In our home, we love garlic in recipes, but also use it for the antibiotic properties that it contains. In this case we may purchase it encapsulated, or we may mince and eat larger amounts of it than usual.
It is the allicin content, a sulfur compound, in the garlic that is key in benefiting health. I have used a high potency garlic with a chlorophyll coating that helps with odor without reducing allicin content. You can find it by searching for high potency garlic, or just garlic, on this site.
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