By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Avoid fatty acids in diet and keep off cancer. Fatty
acids particularly of the saturated type play a major role in promoting
cancer in humans.
According to a National Institute of Nutrition study, diets low in micronutrients
will also increase the risk of cancers. The components of the food we eat
on one side cause cancer but on the other also protect us from this dreaded
Cancer is one of the major causes of mortality and morbidity in the
world. The annual incidence of cancer in India is about seven lakh with
at least two million people suffering from it at any given time. Around
four lakh people die every year in the country due to cancer.
What is interesting is that almost one-third of all cancer cases are
related the food habits.
The dietary factors which may promote cancer
are the fatty acids, i.e. saturated and to some extent n-6 polyunsaturated
fatty acids (PUFA), while n-3 has a distinct preventive role. Diets low
in micronutrients increase the risk of cancers in a milieu of pro-
Selenium, Zinc and ascorbic acid act as antioxidants and have anti
cancer properties. Fruits and vegetables are the most beneficial in
Isothiocyanates in cruciferous vegetable like cauliflower and cabbage,
phenolic compounds in garlic, green tea, soya and cereals, flavonoids
in fruits, vegetables, green tea, soya bean, garlic, citrus fruits, mint and
organo sulphides contribute to the anti-cancer properties.
Food analysis will provide the basis for choice of food, which may
benefit significantly by reducing cancer risk, he pointed out.
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