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The Health Centre

Pizza and Cancer Prevention


Forget about that apple... according to researchers from Milan, Italy, it's a pizza a day that keeps cancer away.


A group in Milan were trying to determine what foods helped prevent cancer. Being in Italy, they decided to ask about pizza eating habits.


The results shocked everyone: the people who ate the most pizza had the fewest cases of cancer.


In a group of nearly 8000 there were 598 cases of oral and pharyngeal cancer. Out of this group, 310 ate no pizza at all, 213 occasionally had pizza. Only 75 were regular pizza eaters.


The results for colon cancer followed the same trend. Out of 1,225 patients with colon cancer, the number who ate no pizza was 503. Those who ate pizza up to three times a month had 473 of the cases of colon cancer. But the people who ate pizza at least once a week? Only 249 had colon cancer.


Regular pizza-eaters were 59 percent less likely to contract cancer of the esophagus, and 26 percent less likely to develop cancer of the colon.


The lead researcher, Dr. Silvano Gallus of the Institute of Pharmacological Research in Milan told Sunday's La Repubblica newspaper, "We knew that tomato sauce was protective against certain tumors, but we certainly didn't expect that pizza as a whole would provide such strong protection."


Others are suggesting that the Mediterranean Diet, a diet rich in olive oil, fiber, whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables may have more to do with the results than eating massive quantities of pizza.


Dr. Gallus guessed that the results probably were more likely to be because of the tomato and olive oil used in making the pizza than the pizza itself. Refined carbohydrates in pizza have been linked with some cancers tomato sauce and olive oil have been found to reduce the risk of cancer.


This spring the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) suggested that because pizza contains substantial amounts of fat and calories it should be dropped from the American diet. Perhaps they will reconsider now that pizza has become a health food?


Another result of this same study was that those who drank more coffee were less likely to get cirrhosis of the liver.


Before you decide to start a pizza and coffee diet, stop and think.


What you should take away from these studies is that eating a balanced diet is healthy. Avoid food fads. Try to stay away from making any radical dietary changes based on the latest research - moderation in diet seems to be the key to good health.


Source: International Journal of Cancer






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