Posted By: CustomVite Nutrition Team Date: January 21, 2019 Comments: 0
January is cervical health awareness month, so this week we’re talking to you ladies. We’re getting real on the risks, the reality, and how you can take preventative measures. First of all, let’s start off with some statistics. A staggering 130,000 American women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. HPV (human papillomavirus), a very common infection in women who are sexually active, causes almost all cases of cervical cancer. The good news is that with regular screening, and vaccination, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services states that the disease may be largely preventable.
What else can you do to support cervical health? While the relationship between cervical cancer and nutrition is complex, there are a number of recent studies that point to certain nutrients that, at their core, strengthen the immune system, and have therefore proven to be important when examining the etiology of cervical cancer.
The following nutrients may help to maintain a healthy cervix:
Lycopene – Potent antioxidants such as lycopene may not only support overall health but research shows that lycopene, along with other antioxidants, may help to reduce the risk of cervical cancer.
Methylfolate – Studies show that a folate deficiency may lead to cellular changes within the cervix and may also increase the likelihood of HPV infections.
Vitamin C – Research shows that vitamin C intake, when increased by 50mg/day, is related to a reduced risk of cervical neoplasia (CN) (or the formation of a new abnormal growth).
Beta Carotene – This nutrient is rich in antioxidants and helps to support the immune system, which may help to reduce the risk of cervical cancer.
Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E) – Recent studies show that vitamin E intake is inversely associated with the risk of CN.
(1) Cao, D., Shen, K., Li, Z., Wu, Y., Wu, D. 2016. Association between vitamin c intake and the risk of cervical neoplasia: A meta-analysis. Nutrition and Cancer, 68) 1: 48-57
(2) Cervical Health Awareness Month. (n.d. 2019). Retried from https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/JanuaryToolkit.aspx
(3) Cervical Health Awareness Month. (n.d. 2019). Retrieved from http://www.nccc-online.org/hpvcervical-cancer/cervical-health-awareness-month/
(4) Ghos, C., Baker, J, A., Moysich, K., Rivera, R., Brasure, J., McCann, S. 2008. Dietary intakes of selected nutrients and food groups and risk of cervical cancer Nutrition and Cancer 60(3), 331-341.
(5) Xialo, Hu et al. 2017. Effect of vitamin E supplementation on uterine cervical neoplasm: A meta-analysis of case-control studies, PLOS One, 12(8) e0183395.