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Eating Onions Reduce Colon Cancer Risk

Posted by Manuela Boyle on 13 June 2022
Eating Onions Reduce Colon Cancer Risk

A new Chinese study has found that cooking with onions, leeks, garlic, shallots, chives and spring onions is not only tasty, but may help protect against colorectal cancer.

Adults who ate the highest amounts of allium-family veges had a 79 percent lower risk of bowel (colorectal) cancer 

Natural sulphur-containing compounds and antioxidants in these veges are likely to be responsible for their beneficial effects.

According to a recent study, published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology, it was found that eating 50 grams of leeks, onions, and garlic may reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer. For the study, the researchers matched 833 patients of colorectal cancer to 833 healthy controls by age, sex and residence area. Apart from this, their dietary and demographic information were also collected via a validated food frequency questionnaire. 

"The greater the amount of allium vegetables, the better the protection," said Zhi Li, from the First Hospital of China Medical University. 

"In general, the present findings shed light on the primary prevention of colorectal cancer through lifestyle intervention, which deserves further in-depth explorations," Li added.

However, only when one consumes about 16 kg of allium vegetables every year or 50 grams every day, the health benefits of the same can be observed, as per the study.  A lot also depends on how the vegetable has been cooked as it affects its nutritional value. The study says that “slicing and crushing fresh garlic are important for the formation of various lipid- and water-soluble organosulfur compounds, while boiling onions lead to about 30% loss of beneficial substance.”

Author:Manuela Boyle
Tags:NewsPrevention & RecoveryCancercolon cancerFood as Medicine


  • The Institute for Functional Medicine
  • Society for Integrative Oncology
  • Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia
  • Australian Traditional-Medicine Society
  • British Naturopathic Association