N° 10 | May 2016

Health benefits of F&V consumption A worldwide


The societal burden of disease due to the epidemic of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, obesity and cognitive decline – the latter in the more and more senile societies – may be contained by dietary lifestyle based on fruit and vegetables. The picture of the evidence concerning the favorable effect on health associated with fruit and vegetables consumption is further enriched by the results of the three papers commented here. CN. Armah explains that the cruciferous vegetables like broccoli may exert their cardiovascular protection through many anti-oxidant substances which include the glucoraphanin, whose content is very high in the Benefortè type with specific effect on the reduction of LDL-cholesterol. A focus is done by CE.

O’Neil on apples, which are shown to be the main indicator of fruit and vegetables consumption in the American diet and as a marker of healthy eating, are associated with low prevalence of obesity, including in children. Finally, C. Feart shows that the betacarotene-rich fruit and vegetables are reported to have their beneficial effect on cognitive impairment through lutein. The consistency of the evidence of the health effects of vegetables and fruit coming from epidemiological, clinical and experimental studies is quite strong and possibly indicates that we still have some steps to go further in defining the suggested daily consumption which might be higher than the current recommendations. The variety of biological and biochemical effects also suggest that the dietary consumption of the products is the best way to preserve health.

To know more:

  • World Cancer Research Fund/American Insitute for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective. Washington DC: AICR, 2007.
  • He FJ, Nowson CA, Lucas M, MacGregor GA. Increased consumption of fruit and vegetables is related to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: meta-analysis of cohort studies. J Hum Hypertens 2007;21(9):717-28.
  • He FJ, Nowson CA, MacGregor GA. Fruit and vegetable consumption and stroke: meta-analysis of cohort studies. Lancet 2006;367(9507):320-6.
  • Loef M1, Walach H. Fruit, vegetables and prevention of cognitive decline or dementia: a systematic review of cohort studies. J Nutr Health Aging. 2012 Jul;16(7):626-30.
  • Ledoux, T.A.; Hingle, M.D.; Baranowski, T. Relationship of fruit and vegetable intake with adiposity: A systematic review. Obes. Rev. 2011, 12, e143–e150.
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