Consuming 50 grams of allium vegetables, which include garlic, leeks, and onions, daily can potentially reduce the risk of getting colorectal cancer, finds a study.
The study, published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology, showed that the odds of having colorectal cancer was 79 per cent lower in adults who consumed high amounts of allium vegetables compared with those who consumed low amounts.
"The greater the amount of allium vegetables, the better the protection," said Zhi Li, from the First Hospital of China Medical University.
"In general, the present findings shed light on the primary prevention of colorectal cancer through lifestyle intervention, which deserves further in-depth explorations,"Li added.
For the study, 833 patients of colorectal cancer were matched to 833 healthy controls by age, sex and residence area.
Demographic and dietary information were collected via face-to-face interviews using a validated food frequency questionnaire.
However, the association of garlic intake with cancer risk was not significant among those with distal colon cancer, the Xinhua reported.
According to the study, the health benefits can be observed when one eats about 16 kg of allium vegetables every year or 50 grams every day.
The researchers also pointed out that cooking method can affect the nutritional value of allium vegetables. For instance, crushing fresh garlic is beneficial but boiling onions reduces useful chemicals.
Previous studies have found that allium vegetables have nutrients and bioactive compounds that can cut the risk of cancer, particularly cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, the report said.