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GARLIC -- FOODS THAT FIGHT CANCER


OTHER FOODS THAT FIGHT CANCER


NOTE: No single food or food substances can protect you against cancer. But scientists believe that the right combination of foods in a predominantly plant-based diet may. Evidence is mounting that the minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals in plant foods interact to provide extra cancer protection. This concept is called synergy. In addition, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans are low-energy-dense, low calorie foods and probably protect against weight gain. According to the Second Expert Report, experts believe that weight gain particularly obesity and overweight are implicated in the development of cancer. Eating a predominantly plant based diet can help prevent weight gain and therefore protect against those cancers whose risk is convincingly increased by higher body fat (namely cancers of the colorectum, esophagus, endometrium, pancreas, kidney, and breast in postmenopausal women). That is why AICR recommends that at least 2/3 of your plate should be filled with vegetables, fruit, whole grains and beans.

Garlic

Garlic belongs to the family of vegetables called Allium, which also includes onions, scallions, leeks and chives. According to AICR's second expert report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective, foods belonging to the allium family of vegetables probably protect against stomach cancer. Moreover, the evidence in the report shows that garlic, in particular, probably decreases one’s chances of developing colorectal cancer.

The protective effect of garlic was shown to have a dose response relationship. In other words, highest exposure to the food showed the greatest decrease in risk. For cancer protection, AICR experts suggest including garlic as part of a well-balanced predominantly plant-based diet.

These allium vegetables contain many substances now being studied for their anti-cancer effects, including: allicin, allixin, allyl sulfides, quercetin and a large group of organosulfur compounds. In laboratory studies, components of garlic have shown the ability to slow or stop the growth of tumors in prostate, bladder, colon and stomach tissue.

Laboratory research has also shown that one garlic component, called diallyl disulfide, exerts potent preventive effects against cancers of the skin, colon and lung. Recently, this compound proved able to kill leukemia cells in the laboratory. A compound derived from garlic called ajoene has displayed similar activity.

In animal studies, components in Allium vegetables have slowed the development of cancer in several stages and at various body sites: stomach, breast, esophagus, colon and lung.

The Research

AICR has funded research on the following topics relating to garlic and the cancer-fighting components it contains. Click each topic to search for relevant AICR-funded research studies performed to date.

Read the full list of AICR’s Recommendations for Cancer Prevention.

 



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