Vegetables and fruit, selenium and zinc may lower risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma A study reported on October 18 2004 at the at the American Association for Cancer Research's Third Annual International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research has found that increased intake of vegetables and fruits as well as higher intake of the minerals zinc and selenium are associated with a lower incidence of the lymphoid tissue cancer non-Hogkin's lymphoma. The research was conducted by the National Cancer Institute in conjunction with four US centers, and headed by Dr Linda Kelemen, RD, ScD, of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
Four hundred fifty men and women between the ages of 20 and 74 with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma were recruited from four national cancer registries and matched for age, gender, race and area of residence with 400 individuals who did not have cancer. Dietary questionnaires provided data on food consumption during the year prior to diagnosis.
The research team found that people who ate more than three servings of vegetables other than potatoes each day had a 40 percent lower risk of developing non-Hodgkins's lymphoma than those who consumed less than one serving per day. Leafy green vegetables and cruciferous vegetables appeared to offer the greatest benefit. Fruit consumption was also associated with a lower non-Hodgkin's lymphoma risk, but to a lesser extent than vegetables. When specific nutrients were examined, selenium and zinc emerged as protective.
Dr Keleman commented, "Dietary modifications such as eating more vegetables and fruits are within the public's grasp to lower their risk of cancer and other diseases. We hope that these findings, in conjunction with continued research and reporting, will help to favorably change the public's eating behavior."
Leukemia and lymphoma (Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's) Leukemias are cancers of the blood-forming organs, and lymphomas are cancers of the lymphatic tissues. In general, leukemias and lymphomas respond well to the conventional treatment methods of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Because there are many different types of these cancers, treatment is based on the specific diagnosis of the disease.
NHL is the fifth most common type of cancer in the United States. The disease is difficult to treat, with an average 1-year survival rate of 70% and a 5-year survival rate of 51%. Approximately 90% of all non-Hodgkin's lymphomas are diagnosed in adults. The average age at diagnosis is in the early 40s, and the disease is slightly more common in men than in women. The risk for the disease increases throughout life. Other potential risk factors for the disease may include adult-onset diabetes of long duration and a history of previous cancers, according to a British study (Cerhan et al. 1997). Survival rates for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are variable, depending on the type of cell involved and the stage of the disease.
Although leukemia and lymphomas respond well to the conventional treatment methods of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, other potentially beneficial treatments are available. Vesanoid, a vitamin A analogue, has been approved for the treatment of promyelocytic leukemia. The medication inhibits cell division and allows cells to reach maturity and function normally. Although Vesanoid is approved in the treatment of only a specific type of leukemia, it may be beneficial in the treatment of other types of leukemia (but probably not CLL) and some types of lymphoma (Kerr et al. 2001).
Vitamin D3 and its analogs may induce certain leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells to differentiate into normal cells. If vitamin D3 supplements are used, the typical dose for cancer patients is 4000 IU a day.
Monthly blood tests to monitor serum calcium, kidney function, and liver function are necessary to prevent vitamin D3 toxicity. Although not specifically recommended for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, vitamins A and D3 may be beneficial because of their effects against a wide range of cancer cells.
As an essential cofactor of glutathione peroxidase, selenium is an important antioxidant. It is also involved with iodine metabolism, pancreatic function, DNA repair, immune function, and the detoxification of heavy metals.
Super Selenium Complex contains the most advanced forms of selenium on the market. Vitamin E has been added because it works synergistically with selenium.
Zinc is a mineral essential for formation of superoxide dismutase, one of the body's most important free radical scavengers and one that cannot be directly supplemented. Zinc also promotes wound healing, immune function, taste sensitivity, protein synthesis, insulin production, and reproduction including organ development and sperm motility.