Giving infants oranges and bananas regularly may halve their risk of developing childhood leukaemia, suggest the results of a new study. And a diet containing the curry spice turmeric may also be protective - accounting for the differences in childhood &to=http://english.pravda.ru/mailbox/22/98/395/13372_AIDS.html' target=_blank>leukaemia rates between east and west - says a leading scientist.
Children who ate oranges, orange juice or bananas between four to six times a week during their first two years of life had a significantly &to=http://english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/377/12415_drugs.html' target=_blank>reduced risk of developing the cancer, revealed the observational study by US researchers.
Previous studies on childhood leukaemias have not examined the effects of the overall diet in this way, focusing more on possible risk foods like cured meats, reports New Scientist.
According to Reuters Professor Moolky Nagabhushan, of the Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago, told a conference that factor could be due, at least partly, to turmeric.
"Some of the known risk factors that contribute to the high incidence of childhood leukemia are the interaction of many lifestyle and environmental factors," he said.
Scientists suspect some children are born with a predisposition to the illness, which occurs most often in children aged 1-4, but that they do not develop the disease unless it is triggered by environmental factors.
&to=http://english.pravda.ru/science/ 19/94/377/12954_radiation.html' target=_blank>Infections, viruses, radiation, pesticides and chemicals are among the suspected culprits.
Turmeric - the spice that makes curry yellow - may protect children against leukaemia, scientists said yesterday.
The incidence in Asia of the blood cancer is much lower than the West where it has risen steadily.
Prof Moolky Nagabhushan, of Loyola University Medical Center, Chicago, said this could be due, partly, to turmeric. His studies showed the spice irreversibly stops leukaemia cells growing in the lab and seems to protect against the damage caused by cigarette smoke and certain processed foods.