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Which Foods Raise Stomach Cancer Risk?

Rising rates of cancer of the stomach and esophagus (the muscular tube connecting your throat to your stomach) have led to large-scale studies over the last decade designed to identify risk factors for these cancers.

Some of this evidence suggests that dietary factors may play a significant role in the development of stomach/esophagus cancers.

The goal of a recent study appearing in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention was to determine dietary patterns related to the development of four types of stomach/esophagus cancer. Approximately 1,100 patients with one of the four forms of cancer and almost 700 healthy individuals completed a demographic and food-frequency questionnaire.

Higher intakes of cholesterol, animal protein and fat, and vitamin B12 increased risk of all four forms of cancer. Taking vitamin C supplements reduced the risk of cancer in the middle and lower stomach by 40%. Taking vitamins A, B6, and folate, as well as eating polyunsaturated fats, fiber, and carbohydrates, significantly decreased the risk of the four forms of cancer. Obesity was also strongly associated with these cancers.

To reduce your risk for cancers of the stomach and esophagus, minimize the amount of fatty meats in your diet. Instead, eat plant-based proteins, such as soy and other beans, and plant-based fats, such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil. In addition, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to ensure adequate amounts of fiber, carbohydrates, and vitamins in your diet. Your doctor of chiropractic can help you come up with the diet that’s right for you.


Mayne ST, Risch HA, Dubrow R, et al. Nutrient intake and risk of subtypes of esophageal and gastric cancer. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 2001:10, pp. 1055-1062.

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