Increased intake of vegetables, but not fruit, is associated with a reduction in the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), according to research published in Gastroenterology.
Yang Yang, from the Zhejiang Cancer Hospital in Hangzhou, China, and colleagues performed a meta-analysis of observational studies to quantify the correlation between vegetable and fruit consumption and risk of HCC. The authors included 19 studies involving 1,290,045 participants and 3,912 cases of HCC.
The researchers found that for individuals with high versus low intake of vegetables, the summary relative risk for HCC was 0.72 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.63 to 0.83). A 100 g/day daily increase in vegetable intake correlated with a summary relative risk of 0.92 for HCC (95 percent CI, 0.88 to 0.95).
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The association persisted irrespective of history of hepatitis, alcohol drinking, smoking, or energy intake. For high versus low intake of fruit, the summary relative risk for HCC was 0.93 (95 percent CI, 0.80 to 1.09); for a 100 g/day daily increase in fruit intake, the summary relative risk was 0.99 (95 percent CI, 0.94 to 1.05).
“Based on a meta-analysis, increased intake of vegetables, but not fruit, is associated with lower risk for HCC,” the authors write. “The findings should be confirmed by future studies with validated questionnaires and strict control of confounders.”