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Onion and garlic use and human cancer *

Background: Interest in the potential benefits of allium vegetables, in particular, onion (Allium cepa) and garlic (Allium sativum), has its origin in antiquity, but the details of these benefits are still open to discussion.

Objective: We investigated the role of allium vegetables in the etiology of various neoplasms. Previous data are scanty and are based mainly on Chinese studies.

Design: Using data from an integrated network of Italian and Swiss case-control studies, we analyzed the relation between frequency of onion and garlic use and cancer at several sites. We calculated odds ratios (ORs) by using multivariate logistic regression models that were adjusted for energy intake and other major covariates.

Results: Consumption of onions varied between 0–14 and 0–22 portions/wk among cases and controls, respectively. The multivariate ORs for the highest category of onion and garlic intake were, respectively, 0.16 and 0.61 for cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx, 0.12 and 0.43 for esophageal cancer, 0.44 and 0.74 for colorectal cancer, 0.17 and 0.56 for laryngeal cancer, 0.75 and 0.90 for breast cancer, 0.27 and 0.78 for ovarian cancer, 0.29 and 0.81 for prostate cancer, and 0.62 and 0.69 for renal cell cancer.

Conclusions: This uniquely large data set from southern European populations shows an inverse association between the frequency of use of allium vegetables and the risk of several common cancers. Allium vegetables are a favorable correlate of cancer risk in Europe.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 08-04-2008
Authors: Carlotta Galeone, Claudio Pelucchi, Fabio Levi, Eva Negri, Silvia Franceschi, Renato Talamini, Attilio Giacosa and Carlo La Vecchia
Source: From the Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri," Milan, Italy (CG, CP, EN, and CLV),; the Registre vaudois des tumeurs, Institut universitarie de medicine sociale et preventive, CHUV-Falaises 1, Lausanne, Switzerland (FL),; the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France (SF),; the Servizio di Epidemiologia e Biostatistica, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, Aviano (Pordenone),, Italy (RT),; the Policlinico di Monza, Monza (Mi),, Italy (AG),; and the Istituto di Statistica Medica e Biometria, Universita degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy (CLV),