This study consists of interviewing patients with ovarian cancer in regard to their dietary history and the results were compared with non-cancer controls. Specific attention was paid to the intake of phytoestrogens, phytosterols, and flavonoids, and was conduced in western New York State.
This study showed a reduced risk of ovarian cancer in the people who consumed more poultry, vegetables, dietary fiber and lignans. Important reductions in risk were seen in patients with the highest intakes of stigmasterol and total lignans. Flavonoid intake did not correlate with risk of ovarian cancer.
Phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) include lignans and soy products. Lignans are found in flax, coffee, carrots, cucumbers, strawberries, and other fruits, vegetables, grains and seeds. Some flax oils have extra lignans added. Soy estrogens were not emphasized here because of the low consumption of soy in western New York State, where this study was done.
Phytosterols (plant sterols similar structurally to cholesterol) are found in black tea, peanuts, peanut butter, and margarine. Some plant sterols are beta-sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol.
CONCLUSION: “The evidence toward a protective effect of a plant-based diet on hormone-related cancers continues to accumulate.” This article emphasizes the lowest incidence of ovarian cancer in women who took the highest doses of stigmasterol and lignans.
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