Onions and garlic are a recipe for reducing the risk of breast cancer, a new study has revealed.
The study, population-based examined the association between onion and garlic consumption and breast cancer in Puerto Rico.
The findings of the research conducted by the University at Buffalo and the University of Puerto Rico were published in the Journal of Nutrition and cancer.
The study was conducted between 2008 and 2014 and attracted 314 women with breast cancer and 346 control subjects.
The idea for the study stemmed from previous scientific evidence showing that eating onions and garlic may have a protective effect against cancer.
Why onions and garlic?
Garlic contains compounds such as S-allyl cysteine, diallyl sulfide, and diallyl disulfide, while onions contain alk(en)yl cysteine sulphoxides.
“These compounds show anticarcinogenic properties in humans, as well as in experimental animal studies,” said Gauri Desai, the study’s lead author.
“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,” he said.
Sofrito, according to African bites, is a versatile aromatic green puree made of bell peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, and onions. It makes a powerful base for dishes like stews, beans, and rice
The study revealed that women who consumed sofrito more than once per day had a 67% decrease in risk compared to women who never ate it.
According to Desai, it is the total intake of onions and garlic, not sofrito alone, that was associated with breast cancer risk.
Puerto Rico was a perfect place to study because women there consume larger amounts of onions and garlic, Desai noted.
“Studying Puerto Rican women who consume a lot of onions and garlic as sofrito was unique,” said Desai.
Statistically, Puerto Rico has lower breast cancer rates compared to the United States, hence an important population to study.