A review of the Mediterranean diet and nutritional genomics in relation to cancer in women


Women’s cancer
Nutritional genomics
Mediterranean diet


Cancer is the leading cause of death among women all over the world. Female tissue-specific cancers are the most commonly diagnosed among women and account for most cancer-related deaths. The main risk factors for women’s cancer are hereditary factors, specific exposure to dangerous chemicals, disorders such as hormone imbalance, and lifestyle. High body mass index, low physical activity, low intake of fruit and vegetables, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of cancer screening and treatment are the most common risk factors. Nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics are both part of nutritional genomics. Nutrigenetics is how a person’s body reacts to nutrients based on his/her genotype. It can be used to create a personalized diet, maintain a person’s health, avoid disease, and if necessary to sustain therapy. Nutrigenomics studies the impact of nutrition on gene expression and the epigenomic, proteomic, transcriptomic and metabolomic effects of dietary intake. There is evidence that diet matters for different women’s cancers, and is related to cancer progression, survival and treatment. The optimum combination for cancer prevention is a diet rich in vitamins and fibre, with low meat consumption, low milk intake and moderate use of alcohol. The Mediterranean diet looks to be an optimal diet with a good nutrition pattern, qualifying it as a therapy to prescribe.



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