cruciferous vegetables improve survival in women with ovarian cancer

Unfortunately, ovarian cancer develops quickly and is hard to treat. Cruciferous vegetables are very promising anticancer foods. Could eating more cruciferous vegetables help women with ovarian cancer?

A recent systematic review and meta-analysis found that women who eat more fruit and vegetables before being diagnosed with ovarian cancer have better survival rates (Adv Nutr. 2020 Nov 16;11(6):1569-1582).

Cruciferous vegetables are especially promising vegetables for cancer. Could they help even more? Early research suggested that they could. A study of women with ovarian cancer found significantly better survival in women who eat a lot of vegetables in general and for women who eat a lot of cruciferous vegetables in particular (Int J Cancer. 2003 Aug 20;106(2):264-9). A second study that found significantly better survival for women with ovarian cancer who had eaten lots of fruits and vegetables found that, amongst the vegetables, it was the yellow and cruciferous vegetables that provided the advantage (J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Mar;110(3):369-82).

A huge new study of 853 women with ovarian cancer has now taken another look at possibility that cruciferous vegetables can help with ovarian cancer survival. The results are exciting: the women who ate the most cruciferous vegetables had significantly better survival than the women who ate the least. During a follow up period of 37.2 months, or just over 3 years, the women who ate the most cruciferous vegetables had a 43% greater chance of survival.

The researchers concluded that eating cruciferous vegetables before being diagnosed with ovarian cancer is “strongly associated with better survival” in women with ovarian cancer. That’s a very good reason to start making cruciferous vegetables a regular part of your diet now.

Some great cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, bok choy, collard greens, kohlrabi, water cress, turnips and radishes.


Front Nutr. 2021; 8: 778031


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