Diet and cancer: report to the Minister for Health and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
|dc.contributor.author||Food Safety Advisory Committee|
|dc.description||The incidence of cancer in Irish women is the second highest overall in the EU and Irish women have the highest incidence of the oesophagus, colon, larynx and breast. Irish men have the tenth highest overall incidence of cancer in the EU and have the highest rate of colon cancer. The precise role of diet in the development of cancer is poorly understood largely because there is no known biological intermediary between diet and cancer. This contrasts with diet and heart disease where blood cholesterol is one of several such biological intermediaries. The food we eat may be related to cancer in a number of ways : natural endogenous plant chemicals may be carcinogenic; contaminants and residues may play a role; fungal contaminants such as mycotoxins may contribute to certain cancers; carcinogens may be generated or destroyed on cooking, processing or storage, nutrients may play a role by either promoting or inhibiting cancer initiation or development. The nutrients which have been most studied in relation to cancer are fat, fibre and the antioxidant vitamins. Several prospective studies have failed to show an association between dietary fat and breast cancer while some evidence exists that diets low in fibre but rich in saturated fats may contribute to the risk of colon cancers. However, it is in the area of antioxidant vitamins that most experts agree greatest progress will be made. These antioxidant vitamins are 6-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E and are widely distributed in fruits and vegetables. Current evidence would strongly suggest that an increased intake of these antioxidant vitamins through foods, as opposed to supplements, would considerably help to reduce the incidence of certain cancers in Ireland. At present our intake of fruit and vegetables is half that of the Mediterranean countries. In general, healthy eating guidelines, which are most often issued in the case of coronary heart disease, represent the best means of reducing the risk of most chronic diseases . Such guidelines include the avoidance of obesity, reducing the intake of total and saturated fats , reducing salt, avoiding excessively frequent intakes of sugar, moderating alcohol intake and increasing fibre intakes. Such dietary advice should be incorporated into the general advice for improvement in lifestyle which includes the avoidance of tobacco and excessive alcohol intakes and the pursuit of exercise.||en_GB|
|dc.publisher||The Stationary Office||en_GB|
|dc.title||Diet and cancer: report to the Minister for Health and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry.||en_GB|