Researchers in Italy have found that people who eat plenty of garlic, onions and other alliums are at reduced risk of developing various cancers, in comparison to those who avoid these pungent herbs.
The research data compared the connection between garlic/onion consumption and cancer at various body parts such as the colon, esophagus, larynx, mouth, ovaries, breast, and kidneys. It was found that moderate consumption of onions reduced the risk of colorectal, laryngeal, and ovarian cancers.
The overall consumption of onions among patients with cancer ranged from 0 to 14 portions per week, while those without cancer consumed 0 to 22 portions per week.
The consumption of garlic was also comparatively less among cancer patients than with those without cancer. Also majority of those who ate onions had a reduced risk of esophageal and oral cancers than those who avoided onions or those who ate the least.
With increase in garlic intake, the anti-cancer effect also increased. People who consumed more garlic had lower-risk of prostate and breast cancers, which are mainly associated with reproductive and hormonal issues.
Researchers say that the consumption of garlic and onion could just be a marker for leading a healthier lifestyle with a diet high in various potential cancer-fighting vegetables and herbs.
However, irrespective of the total vegetable intake, the protective effect of garlic and onions against cancer remained significant.