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18.11.2014


Optimal fruit and veg intake is a pound a day, says meta-study

People who want to live as long as possible should eat about a pound a day of fruit and vegetables. Chinese and American nutritionists draw this conclusion in an article published in the British Medical Journal. The researchers gathered data from 16 big epidemiological studies and re-analysed them. They had data on 833234 people.

Fruit and vegetables
The researchers performed statistical analysis to check for publication bias, and found none. This means that it was not just studies that show that fruit and vegetables are healthy that were published in scientific journals and that studies with different conclusions had been rejected.

Some studies express fruit and vegetable intake in servings; others use grams. For both vegetables and fruit 1 serving is about 80 grams.

Results
The researchers discovered that for every 80 g serving of fruit or vegetables that you eat per day your chance of having fatal cardiovascular problems decreases by 5 percent. And every serving eaten per day reduces the chance of developing a fatal form of cancer by 3 percent.


Optimal fruit and veg intake is a pound a day, says meta-study


Optimal health protection was obtained by eating 5-6 servings amounting to about half a kilogram per day. Higher intake does not lead to a further reduction in mortality risk.


Optimal fruit and veg intake is a pound a day, says meta-study


Optimal fruit and veg intake is a pound a day, says meta-study


Conclusion
The protective effect of vegetables on cancer was not statistically significant in this study. "It is possible, however, that fruit and vegetable consumption might have stronger effects on specific cancer sites", the researchers write.

"In addition, different types of fruit and vegetables might have different effects on cancer risk. Future studies are needed to be more specific about types of cancer and the role of different groups of fruit and vegetables."

Source:
BMJ. 2014 Jul 29;349:g4490.

More:
Live longer? Don't take pills, eat more veg... 15.04.2014