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Association between Mediterranean dietary patterns and cancer risk

Carlo La Vecchia
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00174.x S126-S129 First published online: 1 May 2009


To evaluate the association between diet and cancer risk in Mediterranean countries, data presented from a series of case-control studies conducted in Italy were reviewed. The series comprised over 20,000 cases affecting 20 cancer sites and included 18,000 controls. For most epithelial cancers, risk decreased with increasing vegetable and fruit consumption. Fish and whole grains (but not refined grains) were also favorable diet indicators. Olive oil and other monounsaturated and unsaturated fats were inversely related to cancer risk at several sites. A Mediterranean diet pattern appears to be favorable for a reduced cancer risk, indicating the importance of dietary patterns.

  • diet
  • epidemiology
  • human
  • neoplasms
  • risk
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