Suggestions for Ovarian Cancer Prevention

Ovarian Cancer is a disease unique to woman that is often not detected until it has progressed to a point that treatment is not all that one would hope it would be.  I don't believe in hopeless cases, but do believe that we have to be vigilant in caring for ourselves, keeping up with our annual physical and gynecological exams, and doing our part to prevent this disease.  There are promising studies in the medical field that may help doctors be able to detect this disease earlier.  Following is information that I hope will provide you with at least one or two things that you can do to prevent cancer of the ovaries.

One study published back in a November 2007 issue of the International Journal of Cancer suggests that diets high in certain flavonoid compounds found in vegetables, fruits, beans and tea may significantly lower a woman's risk of developing ovarian cancer.

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Flavonoids are a large family of antioxidant compounds known as phytochemicals. They are part of a plant's natural defense system that helps the plant fight off disease and infection.  When consumed as food, these powerful nutrients help the human body to fight disease and infection as well by protecting cells from DNA damage.  Scientists also believe that some flavonoids may also fight cancer by regulating cell growth, fighting inflammation or by changing hormone levels.

This study looked at over 66,000 participants over a 14 year period and focused on flavonoid consumption.  Two particular flavonoids, kaempferol and luteolin appear to be particularly helpful for protection against ovarian cancer.  

Kaempferol, a flavonoid found in tea, broccoli, kale and spinach along with luteolin which is found in peppers, carrots, cabbage and celery were both shown to offer significant protection against ovarian cancer.

Women who consumed the most kaempferol enjoyed a 40% decreased risk of ovarian cancer and women who consumed the most luteolin enjoyed a 34% decreased risk when compared to women who consumed the least of these flavonoids.  Researchers also noted that a third phytochemical, myricetin, also seemed to be somewhat protective. Myricetin is found in tea, dried beans, raisins and blueberries.

Once again, the modern day researchers continue to confirm the wisdom of the ancients and power of whole foods to nourish the human body and to ward off disease.  How many servings of fruits and vegetables will you, your family, and your children have today?  

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Updated 1/19/13

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