Dietary flavonoids may reduce ovarian cancer risk

Ovarian cancer affects more than 60,000 European women annually with most cases occurring in Northern Europe. This study suggests that dietary intake of certain flavonoids may reduce ovarian
cancer risk.

While antioxidant nutrients have been linked with cancer protection in the past, few studies have addressed ovarian cancer. A large observational study of nearly 67,000 US nurses examined the
associations between a range of antioxidant nutrients and the risk of ovarian cancer. Attention was focused on the family of antioxidants called flavonoids, which are found in colourful fruits
and vegetables, red wine and tea. These are believed to have powerful anti-cancer effects, according to animal studies.

The results showed that total intake of the five major dietary flavonoids (myricetin, kaempferol, quercetin, luteolin and apigenin) was not related to ovarian cancer risk. However, women with
the highest intakes of kaempferol, found in non-herbal tea and broccoli, had a 40% lower risk of developing ovarian cancer. The authors concluded that certain flavonoids could be protective
against ovarian cancer but the finding has to be confirmed in intervention studies.

For more information, see
Gates MA et al (2007) A prospective study of dietary flavonoid intake and incidence of epithelial ovarian cancer. International Journal of Cancer. Epub ahead of print, 30th April.

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