Consumption of garlic, chives, and other allium vegetables may be associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer, according to a study carried out by researchers in Shanghai, China.
In the study, published in the 6 November issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Dr Ann W Hsing of the US National Cancer Institute and her colleagues interviewed 238 men with prostate cancer and 471 men without prostate cancer about their consumption of various foods - 122 food items in total.
The authors found that men who consumed the highest amounts of allium vegetables (more than 10g per day) had approximately half the risk of prostate cancer of men who consumed the lowest amounts of allium vegetables (less than 2.2g per day). They said that the reduced risk was independent of body size, intake of other foods and total calorie intake. Garlic and scallions were associated with the lowest risk.
The authors also noted that the association was more pronounced for men with localised prostate cancer than with advanced prostate cancer.
Other vegetables which contain allium include onions, chives and leeks.