“The findings of this large study provide support for an inverse association of selected classes of flavonoids with colorectal cancer risk,” wrote lead author Marta Rossi in the August issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention (Vol. 15, pp. 1555-1558), a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
The new case-control study, led by Rossi from the Università degli Studi di Milano, recruited 1,953 cases of colorectal cancers (1,225 colon cancers and 728 rectal cancers) and 4,154 hospital controls admitted for acute non-cancerous diseases. Dietary intake was assessed using validated food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Intake of six classes of flavonoids (isoflavones, anthocyanidins, flavones, flavonols, flavan-3-ols, and flavanones) was quantified using recently published food and beverage composition data.
After adjusting the results for sex, age, family history of colorectal cancer, BMI, energy intake, education, alcohol consumption, and physical activity, the researchers calculated that the highest intake of flavonols was associated with a 46 per cent reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer, compared to people in the lowest intake group.
Flavones, commonly found in citrus fruit, have been increasingly linked to health benefits, including protection against cancer, heart disease and inflammation.
Berries, particularly blueberries, are a rich source of anthocyanidins (anthocyanins without the sugar part). A recent in vitro study reported that blueberry anthocyanidins, mainly delphinidin, cyaniding, petunidin, peonidin and malvidin, could stop the growth of liver cancer cells (Food Research International, Vol. 39, pp. 628-638).
Courtesy of nutraingredients.com