Eating cereals and nuts might be helpful for cutting the risk of pancreatic cancer because they contain nutrients known as antioxidants, according to a study by British scientists published on Tuesday.
The study, carried out by researchers in University of East Anglia, involves 23,500 people aged between 40 and 74 years old, who reported their food diary with details as types and amount of every food they ate, as well as the methods they used to prepare it.
Researchers reported in the journal Gut that those whose were in the top quartile for consumption of vitamin C, E and selenium together were at 67 percent lower risk of pancreatic cancer compared to the bottom quartile.
Those nutrients are known as antioxidants and are present in several food types, including cereals, nuts, fruits and vegetables.
"Antioxidants may work by neutralizing carcinogens in cigarette smoke and also blocking toxic free radicals formed from the by-products of metabolism," said Dr. Andrew Hart, lead researcher at University of East Anglia.
"Other possible protective mechanisms include stimulating the immune system response," he added.
Cancer of the pancreas kills more than a quarter of a million people every year around the world, and 7,500 people are diagnosed with the disease every year in Britain, where it is the six commonest cause of cancer death.
If the link between diet and pancreatic cancer risk could be proved to be causal in further study, it is estimated that reasonable diet could lead to prevention of more than one in 12 of pancreatic cancers.