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Lung cancer risk cut by varied diet

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Eating a large variety of fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of getting lung cancer, according to a Dutch study.

The research by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands examined data from more than 450,000 people, of which around 1,600 had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

They were monitored to see how many different types of 14 commonly eaten fruits and 26 vegetables they ate, including fresh, dried or tinned foods.

Leading the study, Dr Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita said eating a variety of vegetables, regardless of the amount eaten, was linked to lower cancer risk.

The chances of developing a type of lung cancer called squamous cell carcinoma fell substantially when a variety of fruits and vegetables were eaten, especially among current smokers.

Researchers reiterated that stopping smoking is the best thing people can do to reduce their chances of developing lung cancer, which is the second most common cancer in the UK after breast cancer, with almost 40,000 new cases each year

Dr Bueno-de-Mesquita said: “Fruits and vegetables contain many different bioactive compounds and it makes sense to assume it is important that you not only eat the recommended amounts, but also consume a rich mix of these bioactive compounds by consuming a large variety.”

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