Food & Beverage Perspectives
citrus fruits and skin cancer

Study: Citrus Fruits Reduce Risk of Skin Cancer

Furocoumarins are a group of naturally occurring chemicals that are rich in citrus products such as grapefruits. This group of chemicals has previously show photocarcinogenic properties so researchers set up a prospective study for citrus consumption and risk of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the skin.

Furocoumarins are a group of naturally occurring chemicals that are rich in citrus products such as grapefruits. This group of chemicals has previously show photocarcinogenic properties so researchers set up a prospective study for citrus consumption and risk of two skin cancers: basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) based on data from 41,530 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986 to 2010) and 63,759 women in the Nurses' Health Study (1984 to 2010) who were free of cancers at baseline (Carcinogenesis. July 29, 2015). During 24 to 26 years of follow-up, they documented 20,840 incident BCCs and 3544 incident SCCs. Compared to those who consumed citrus products less than twice per week, the pooled multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios were 1.03 for BCC and 1.14 for SCC for those who consumed two to four times per week, 1.06 for BCC and 1.15 for SCC for five to six times per week, 1.11 for BCC and 1.22 for SCC for once to 1.4 times per day, and 1.16 for BCC and 1.21 for SCC for 1.5 times per day or more. Their findings support positive associations between citrus consumption and risk of cutaneous BCC and SCC in two cohorts of men and women.

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