Including onions and garlic to meals on a regular basis may significantly help to lower the risk of breast cancer.
314 women with breast cancer and 346 control subjects were involved in a collaborative study from the University of Puerto Rico and University of Buffalo during a population based study examining the relationships between breast cancer, onions, and garlic, building on previous research that indicates consumption of the popular ingredients may help to protect against cancer.
“We found that among Puerto Rican women, the combined intake of onion and garlic, as well as sofrito, was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer,” says Gauri Desai, the study’s lead author, in a university release.
As published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer women who consumed more sofrito had a decreased risk of 67% in breast cancer risk compared to those who didn’t eat any; it was noted that it was total consumption of garlic and onions that was associated with the reduced risk not just sofrito.
“There is very little research on breast cancer in Puerto Rico. This study was a collaboration between my colleagues here at UB and at the University of Puerto Rico to help us understand why rates there are lower than in the rest of the U.S.,” says study co-author Jo Freudenheim.
Women living in Puerto Rico typically consume more garlic and onions than that of those living in Europe or America, making it an excellent location to study; other than sofrito garlic and onions can universally be found in most Puerto Rican dishes, and the female population experiences lower rates of breast cancer compared to other female populations.
The large amounts of flavonols and organosulfar compounds found within onions and garlic is believed to be responsible for the anti-cancer benefit experienced by the women. “These compounds show anticarcinogenic properties in humans, as well as in experimental animal studies,” says Lina Mu, the study’s senior author.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.