How to Virtually Eliminate Your Risk of Lymphoma

Eating lots of vegetables lowers the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), according to a Mayo Clinic study. After examining the dietary intake of 466 people with NHL and 391 matched controls, researchers found that:

  • Those who ate a higher number of vegetable servings per week had a 42 percent lower risk of NHL than those who ate the lowest number. 

  • Those who ate the most servings of green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables had a 40 percent lower risk compared to the lowest intakes.

  • Those who had the highest intake of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin had a 46 percent lower risk of NHL. 

  • Those who had the highest intake of zinc had a 42 percent lower risk.

    The researchers believe the reduced risks are due to the antioxidant effects of the carotenoids in vegetables. An antioxidant-rich diet helps fight DNA damage caused by oxidative stress, which is one of the risk factors for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

    Dr. Mercola's Comments:

    About one in 10,000 people will come down with lymphoma. This recent study from Mayo Clinic found amazing things can happen when you combine vegetables with exercise. The more vegetables you eat the less likely you are to come down with lymphoma.

    Some of the nutrients in the vegetables that have been associated with a lower risk of cancer include:

    • Lutein
    • Lycopene
    • Zeaxanthin
    • Folic acid
    • Gluoinolates that are converted into isothiocyanates

    These vegetables appear to lower the risk for cancer by inducing phase 2 detoxification pathways that reduce DNA damage by their antioxidant activity.

    Now please be careful and recognize that this is not a recommendation to run out to the health food store and load up on these nutrients. While that might work, it is far less expensive and probably far more effective to consume the vegetables in their whole state; they work in powerful synergy with the accessory micronutrients.

    Organic vegetables, of course, are better, as they contain fewer dangerous pesticides and more nutrients. But always remember that it is better to eat non-organic vegetables than no vegetables at all.

    This research study was restricted to lymphomas, but it would not be unreasonable to extend the observations to most other cancers as there is a high likelihood that they would also be reduced

    Interestingly, the researchers found that the vegetables were particularly beneficial at reversing the damage exercise causes. While exercise, especially cardiovascular aerobic-type exercise, is good for you, it does produce free radicals that must be neutralized. Failure to neutralize these will actually contribute to accelerated aging.

    So the moral of the story is that you simply can't exercise alone. You need to eat your vegetables too, as they have a marvelous synergy that powerfully extends not only the quantity of years but the quality of those years. It doesn't make any sense to live to be 110 if your brain doesn't work and you are crippled with degenerative arthritis.

    Well, vegetables can actually prevent that from happening, especially in conjunction with exercise.

    So there is no mystery that you will benefit from eating more vegetables, even conservative government physicians recommend that we eat three to five servings of vegetables a day. Very few of us even come close to that conservative recommendation.

    What many might be confused about is that not all vegetables are good for everyone. The biggest clue probably is the taste. If you absolutely despise eating a certain vegetable, stop worrying about it. Odds are it isn't right for your nutritional type and you should not be eating it.

    If you want more information about this I would suggest reviewing my page on nutritional typing. It will explain the concept in more detail.


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