Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking black or green tea may help reduce smokers' lung cancer risk, suggests a University of California, Los Angeles study.
Researchers looked at the eating habits of 558 lung cancer patients and 837 people without the disease. People who ate three servings of vegetables a day were 1.6 times less likely to develop lung cancer than those who didn't eat three servings. People who ate three or more servings of fruit were one-fold less likely to develop lung cancer, and those who drank one cup of black or green tea a day had a 0.8-fold reduced risk, CBC News reported.
Fruits, vegetables and tea contain flavonoids, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
"What we found was extremely interesting, that several types of flavonoids are associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer among smokers," said Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, a professor of public health and epidemiology at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center, CBC News reported.
Zhang and colleagues believe flavonoids may help stop the development of blood vessels that feed tumors, preventing them from invading healthy tissue.
The study appears in the May issue of the journal Cancer.