Testimonies against green vegetables

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

GREEN vegetables we know to be rich sources of substances that support physical health and well-being.

Three studies—the Epplein Study in 2010; the Larsson Study in 2007; the Pool-Zobel Study in 1997—affirmed each other on the beneficial role of vegetables against chronic degenerative diseases such as certain types of cancer (lung, breast, and prostate) and cardiovascular diseases and the negative effects of feminine hormone replacement therapy.

The Taborada & Prolla Study in 2012 (published in Archive of Gastroenterology) also noted how high frequency (daily to an intake of four to five times a week) in consuming green vegetables prevents the development of gastric intestinal metaplasia (gastric intestinal metaplasia or IM).

Gastric IM is the transformation (metaplasia) of the surface cells of the gastric mucosa to a type that unnaturally resembles that of the intestine (intestinal). Thus, it looks like a lesion that scientists noted to precede the development of gastric cancer. Its occurrence alone increases the risk for stomach cancer six-fold, according to the Zullo Study in 2012 (World Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology).

The Japan and Korea Questions, however, challenge this action of green vegetables against cancer, particularly gastric cancer. A meta-analysis study (an analytical study of many previous studies on a similar subject) in 2010 (Dias-Neto) found out that the incidence of gastric cancer in Japan and Korea remained high despite their people’s well-known high intake of vegetables of many kinds. If green vegetables were good against gastric cancer, as previous studies seemed to affirm, why did the Japanese and the Koreans continue to have high rates of the disease? How could that happen indeed?

Fortunately, another 2010 study (Kim, Park & Nam; published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition) found out the reason for this illogic.

The team of Korean researchers noted that, while Koreans and the Japanese eat many vegetables, they consume mainly salted or pickled vegetables. That is, processed vegetables, not fresh. Moreover, when they reviewed studies on pickled vegetables, they found out that these were significantly associated with an increased risk of gastric cancer.

The lesson is clear then: go for the fresh, and avoid processed vegetables. If you’ve read some literature on healthy diets, you may recall scientific reasons to explain why that makes the lesson so logical.

The Taborada & Prolla Study also noted: “Patients with intestinal metaplasia have a greater tendency to consume cheese.” That is something I wish to leave with you to think of.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 18, 2013.


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