Higher amounts of boron in the diet are associated with lower risk of lung cancer in women, researchers at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston report.
They explain that dietary boron may play a role in defending against cancer initiation due to inflammation.
Boron is ubiquitous in the food supply. According to the report, the top ten dietary sources of boron include coffee, wine, apples and pears, peanut butter and peanuts, grapes, orange juice, salads, beans, bananas, and broccoli.
Dr Somdat Mahabir and colleagues examined the associations between lung cancer risk in women and boron consumption and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) - which is known to reduce lung cancer risk - using data from an ongoing study.
Older women not on HRT at most risk
Compared to the highest intake of boron, the lowest intake was associated with a 92 percent increased odds of lung cancer, the researchers report in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
This trend was more apparent among women ages 60 years or younger and among heavier women, the report indicates.
HRT use was associated with a 31 percent reduction in lung cancer risk, the researchers note.
The highest risk for lung cancer was seen among women with low boron levels who did not use HRT and were older than 60 years, the investigators say.
"Our findings suggest that boron from food sources in the typical US diet, with or without HRT use, offers protection against lung cancer in women," Mahabir's team concludes. – (Reuters Health, May 2008)
HRT increases cancer risk