One in 12 cases of pancreatic cancer might be prevented with higher dietary intake of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and the mineral Selenium

August 16, 2012

Pancreatic cancer kills over a quarter of a million people worldwide each year and it has a terrible prognosis with just 3 percent of sufferers surviving beyond five years after diagnosis. Researchers tracked the health of more than 23,500 people aged 40 to 74 for teen-years who had entered the EPIC Study between the years 1993 to 1997. Each person kept a food diary for a limited time and the intake of 11,000 foods, the amount consumed and method of preparation was compared. The DINER computer program calculated nutrient intake.

86 participants developed pancreatic cancer and on average survived six-months after diagnosis. People in the highest 25 percent of intake of the mineral selenium cut the risk of pancreatic cancer in half compared to those in the lowest 25 percent of intake. Those whose intake of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Selenium were in the top 25 percent of consumption had a 67 percent lower likelihood of developing the cancer than those in the bottom 25 percent of intake. If the data holds up it translates to more than one in twelve people who would have had the disease not developing it. That would be tens-of-thousands of fewer people dying yearly from this dreaded disease.