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2-min read

Eating Raw Onions, Garlic Every Day May Reduce Woman's Risk of Getting Breast Cancer by 67%, Says Study

A research conducted by the University of Buffalo (UB) and the University of Puerto Rico found out that eating raw onion and garlic may reduce a woman's risk of breast cancer.

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Updated:September 25, 2019, 4:05 PM IST
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Eating Raw Onions, Garlic Every Day May Reduce Woman's Risk of Getting Breast Cancer by 67%, Says Study
Representative Image: Getty Images

A research conducted by the University of Buffalo (UB) and the University of Puerto Rico found out that eating raw onion and garlic may reduce a woman's risk of breast cancer. The research found women who ate more than one serving of onion and garlic-based sofrito a day were 67 percent less likely to develop breast cancer. The researchers analysed the dietary habits of more than 600 women in Puerto Rico, which has seen a spurt in breast cancer cases over the past few decades.

The researchers, however, found out that eating onion and garlic in different form did not have the same benefits.

Sofrito recipes mat differ but typically comprises of raw onions and garlic alongside peppers, tomatoes and coriander.

Eating onions and garlic raw may be the key, as studies in the past have suggested their cancer-fighting antioxidants get destroyed when heated.

In Puerto Rico, the incidence of breast cancer rose from 18 cases per 100,000 women in the 1960s to 50 per 100,000 in the 1990s, the scientists wrote in the journal Nutrition and Cancer.

Although on the rise in Puerto Rico, breast cancer is still more common in the US. For every 100,000 American women, 127.5 develop the disease every year, the National Cancer Institute statistics show.

"There is very little research on breast cancer in Puerto Rico," Daily Mail quoted study author Dr Jo Freudenheim, from UB, saying.

"This study was... to help us understand why rates there are lower than in the rest of the US. And why rates there are continuing to increase while they are decreasing in the rest of the United States," Dr Jo Freudenheim said.

A number of studies have suggested eating lots of onions and garlic reduces a person's risk of lung, prostate and stomach cancer. However, not much was known about how the staple ingredients affect a woman's breast cancer odds.

To get more on it, the scientists analysed women who took part in The Atabey Study of Breast Cancer in Puerto Rico between November 2008 and June 2014. Of the participants, 314 had battled the disease, while 346 controls had never had malignant tumours, aside from some cases of non-melanoma skin cancer, following which results revealed while there was a 'trend toward lower breast cancer risk' with increased onion and garlic consumption, it was not statistically significant.

However, it was found that the women who consumed sofrito every day were significantly less at risk.

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