Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of cancer by 57%

meditA new study by IRCCS-Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche, published by the British Journal of Cancer, has revealed that women who adhered to the Mediterranean diet had a significantly reduced risk of cancer. The research subjects consisted of 5,000 Italian women.

The Mediterranean diet was broken down into nine different components and the diet included vegetables, fruits and nuts, pulses, cereals and potatoes, fish, monounsaturated fats but little meat, milk and other dairy products and moderate alcohol intake.

The research findings revealed that women who adhered to seven and nine of the beneficial groups associated with the Mediterranean diet lowered their risk of cancer of the uterus by 57 %. Those women who stuck to six elements of the diet’s components reduced their risk of womb cancer by 46 per cent and those who stuck to five reduced their risk by a third (34 per cent).

“Our research shows the impact a healthy balanced diet could have on a woman’s risk of developing womb cancer”, said Dr Cristina Bosetti, lead author from the IRCCS-Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche. “This adds more weight to our understanding of how our every day choices, like what we eat and how active we are, affect our risk of cancer.”

Dr. Julie Sharp, Cancer Research UK’s head of health information commented on the research findings and specified the following: “While we know that getting older and being overweight both increase a woman’s risk of womb cancer, the idea that a Mediterranean diet could help reduce the risk needs more research. This is partly because this study was based on people remembering what they had eaten in the past.

“Cancer risk is affected by our age and our genes but a healthy lifestyle can also play a part in reducing the risk of some cancers. Not smoking, keeping a healthy weight, being active, eating healthily and cutting down on alcohol helps to stack the odds in your favor.”


Filomeno et al. Mediterranean diet and risk of endometrial cancer: a pooled analysis of three Italian case-control studies. British Journal of Cancer. DOI: 10.1038/bjc.2015.1533wejnzazx

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