In the study researchers from the Catalan Institute for Oncology in Barcelona analyzed data on eating habits and the incidence of stomach cancer in over 485,000 men and women between the ages of 35 and 70 from ten European countries. During the nine-year study period, researchers assigned a score to each person’s diet based on an 18-point scale, depending on how closely it resembled the Mediterranean diet.
Researchers found that people who followed a Mediterranean-style diet closely, and had the highest scores, were 33 percent less likely to develop gastric cancer compared to people who didn’t follow the diet. In fact, researchers found that for each one-point increase on the scale, the risk of gastric cancer fell by 5 percent.
The Mediterranean diet has been shown in other studies to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, but these latest findings shed light on the types of cancer it can protect against. The findings were published in the December online issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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