Multiple studies have evaluated the role of specific foods and micronutrients in the development of stomach cancers. The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort study was a massive undertaking involving hundreds of thousands of people in ten countries that gathered huge amounts of data about nutrition's impact on cancer and other diseases. An increased risk of stomach cancer was shown to correlate with increased intake of processed and red meat, decreased intake of fruits and vegetables, and decreased adherence to a Mediterranean diet. Multiple other studies appear to confirm the protective effect of high fruit and vegetable intake, as well as the increased risk for those who eat large amounts of processed meats. According to two studies from China, micronutrients associated with a possible decreased risk of esophageal and stomach cancers include retinol, beta carotene, vitamin E, and selenium. Lastly, two negative studies for adenocarcinomas of the esophagus and stomach were reported regarding the influence of carbonated soft drinks and soy products. The authors thought that carbonated drinks might increase risk and soy products might decrease it, but their hypotheses were unproven in both cases.
More Answers from Patrick Maguire, MD