Researchers from the University of Buffalo and the University of Puerto Rico have recently conducted a study about the link between consumption of onion and garlic with reduced risk for cancer. The group researchers and students have found that daily consumption of onion and garlic leads to a decreased risk in developing breast cancer. Gauri Desai, a Ph.D. student in UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions, was the lead author of the study.

Desai explained, “We found that among Puerto Rican women, the combined intake of onion and garlic, as well as sofrito, was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer.”

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Researchers have recently conducted a study about the link between consumption of onion and garlic with reduced risk for cancer.
  • Among Puerto Rican women, the combined intake of onion and garlic, as well as sofrito, was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer.
  • Sofrito is a condiment, common in Puerto Rico cuisine. The key ingredients of sofrito are onion and garlic.
  • The study found that women who consumed sofrito more than once a day had a 67% less chance of developing breast cancer when compared to women who did not.

Sofrito is a condiment, common in Puerto Rico cuisine. The key ingredients of sofrito are onion and garlic. The study found that women who consumed sofrito more than once a day had a 67% less chance of developing breast cancer when compared to women who did not.

Sofrito is a condiment, common in Puerto Rico cuisine. The key ingredients of sofrito are onion and garlic. The study found that women who consumed sofrito more than once a day had a 67% less chance of developing breast cancer when compared to women who did not.

First Of Its Kind

This study has been the first of its kind. The linking of sofrito to a decreased risk of breast cancer is unique in itself. This makes the study the first population-based study to examine the association.

Gauri Desai mentioned that “Studying Puerto Rican women who consume a lot of onions and garlic as sofrito was unique.” She added that it was not sofrito consumption but the daily intake of onion and garlic that was associated with breast cancer risk.

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 Why Puerto Rico?

Desai explained that Puerto Rico was very importance in the choice of population. Puerto Rican women consume, on average, more onion and garlic than women in the United States or Europe. This is largely due to the very popularity of sofrito. Stews and other rice-based Puerto Rican dishes also use sofrito.

In addition to this, Puerto Rico also has significantly lower levels of breast cancer in comparison to the United States. Consequently, it becomes an important population to study.

“There is very little research on breast cancer in Puerto Rico. This study was a collaboration… to help us understand why rates there are lower than in the rest of the U.S.”

A co-author of the study, Jo Freudenheim, PhD, chair of epidemiology and environmental health at UB explained further. “There is very little research on breast cancer in Puerto Rico. This study was a collaboration… to help us understand why rates there are lower than in the rest of the U.S.”

How Was The Study Conducted?

The participants of the study were enrolled in the Atabey Study of Breast Cancer. It included 314 women aged between 30 and 79 who were suffering from breast cancer and 346 control subjects. The medical journal Nutrition And Cancer published the results of this study.

Image credit: Maurer foundation

Prapti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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