Pizza may help ward off cancer

July 23, 2003 in Cancer Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News

Pizza may help ward off cancer

Eating Italian pizza on a regular basis may lower your odds of getting certain cancers, new research from Italy suggests.

Researchers analyzed data from studies conducted in Italy between 1991 and 2000. Included were more than 3000 patients with a variety of cancers involving the digestive tract, such as in the esophagus or colon. For comparison, the authors included nearly 5000 similar patients without any evidence of cancer.

The subjects were interviewed regarding lifestyle habits. People who ate pizza at least once a week were considered regular pizza eaters, while those who ate pizza up to 3 times a month were considered occasional eaters.

As reported in the International Journal of Cancer, people who ate pizza at least once a week were less likely to develop any of the digestive tract cancers than people who did not eat pizza. In addition, for most types of cancer, the risk dropped steadily the more often pizza was eaten.

Despite these findings, "our suggestion is not simply 'eat pizza and you will be protected against cancers'," the scientists said, since "pizza may simply represent an indicator of a healthy Italian diet."

On the other hand, Italian pizzas could be quite different from other kinds of pizza. They suggest that pizza's favorable influence may be related to the content of cooked tomatoes, which are rich in lycopene, and olive oil.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.