The Impact of an Unhealthy Diet on the Development of Cancer
According to the most recent findings of the World Cancer Research Fund published in 2007, it is estimated that 30% of all cancers are directly related to dietary habits and that this proportion may be as high as 70% in the case of cancer of the gastrointestinal system (oesophagus, stomach and colon). Among the foods that have the greatest impact on the development of cancer, fruits and vegetables have been shown by numerous epidemiological studies to significantly decrease the risk of developing the disease. In clinical studies, people who consumed the least amount of fruits and vegetables were approximately twice as likely to develop certain forms of cancer in comparison with individuals who consumed the most fruits and vegetables. These observations are supported by considerable experimental data obtained on cell and animal models in which the addition of molecules isolated from a number of food sources is able to induce the death of tumour cells via apoptosis as well as to reverse the development of several cancers. These studies suggest that in addition to being an essential source of vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables constitute an effective weapon in cancer prevention.