Get fruity: childhood consumption of fruit may prevent adult cancers

A UK study lasting more than 60 years shows that fruit consumption during childhood lowers the risk of cancer later in life.


Researchers at the Medical Research Council’s Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in London followed 3878 individuals from 1937 to 2000, and discovered that those who ate an average of 88.4 g of fruit per day (the equivalent of a large apple) were 38 per cent less likely to develop cancer than those who consumed only 0.6 g per day.


Previous reports have suggested that adult fruit consumption may protect against certain types of cancer. This study, however, is the first to equate fruit consumption in childhood with adult cancer risk (J Epidemiol Commun Health, 2003; 57: 218-25).

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