Eat lots of onions, leeks and garlic to slash your chance of getting deadly bowel cancer, doctors say

  • Allium vegetables cut the risk of bowel cancer, according to a new study
  • The researchers found that eating 35lb a year could reduce bowel cancer risk
  • Every year 42,000 cases of bowel cancer are diagnosed in the UK

It might make you unpopular in confined spaces, but at least you’ve now got plenty of excuse to add extra onions to your hotdog.

Allium vegetables – which also include garlic, leeks, chives and shallots – dramatically cut the risk of bowel cancer, a study claims.

Each year 42,000 Britons are diagnosed with the disease and it kills more than 16,000, but the research suggests one small onion a day could be enough to prevent it.

Eating 35lb of allium vegetables every year reduces your risk of bowel cancer, a study claims

The study of more than 1,600 men and women found those with the biggest intake were 79 per cent less likely to develop bowel cancer than those with the least.

Bioactive compounds in allium vegetables have previously been shown to protect against breast and prostate cancer.

Senior author of the latest study Dr Zhi Li, of the First Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang, said: ‘The greater the amount of allium vegetables, the better the protection.’

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The researchers found eating at least 35lb a year could reduce bowel cancer risk. This would be around one-and-a-half ounces a day – equivalent to an onion.

Every year as many as 16,000 people in the UK die from bowel cancer and 42,000 people are diagnosed with it

The study, published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology, compared 833 bowel cancer patients with the same number of healthy controls, using a food frequency questionnaire.

Dr Li pointed out that cooking method had an effect. For example, boiling onions reduced useful chemicals, while slicing and crushing fresh garlic was beneficial.


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