How to prevent thyroid cancer with a proper diet

How to prevent thyroid cancer with a proper diet
How to prevent thyroid cancer with a proper diet

Thyroid cancer (TC) is the most common cancer of the endocrine system, and its incidence has increased significantly in several parts of the world over the past 30 years. In Chile, the incidence of thyroid cancer has been estimated at 2 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and 5.3 in the case of women.

In the United States, it is the fifth most common type of cancer in women. In fact, women are three times more likely to develop thyroid cancer than men, especially during their reproductive years.

“Most studies indicate that higher body weight and higher body fat increase the risk of thyroid cancer. With respect to dietary factors, some studies have found that the consumption of fish and shellfish, foods rich in iodine, can reduce the risk of thyroid cancer,” explains Samuel Durán, director of the Master in Public Health Nutrition at the Universidad San Sebastian.

According to various studies, the consumption of other types of vegetables seems to have a protective effect. These include carrot, spinach, paprika, tomato, garlic, onion, lettuce, cucumber, pumpkin and eggplant.

These vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that contribute to overall health and may help reduce the risk of developing thyroid cancer.

In addition, nutrition doctor Samuel Durán indicates that ensuring a balanced diet rich in iodine is essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid. “Iodine is an essential element for the normal functioning of the thyroid hormone, as it regulates the production of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Both insufficient and excessive intake of iodine can cause disorders in thyroid function, which highlights the importance of balanced consumption,” said the academic.

Obesity and thyroid cancer

Durán explains that in Chile we have several adverse dietary factors for the prevention of thyroid cancer.

“The prevalence of obesity is high, especially among women, with 38.4% of them classified as obese or morbidly obese. Furthermore, fish consumption is low; Less than 10% of the Chilean population meets the recommendation of eating fish at least twice a week. Similarly, the consumption of vegetables is insufficient, with few people reaching the recommended three daily servings,” he notes.

Likewise, it emphasizes the importance of improving these eating habits: “It is essential to increase the consumption of vegetables, and ensure an adequate intake of foods rich in iodine. For people who follow vegetarian or vegan diets, it is crucial to consume iodized salt to avoid deficiencies, since iodine is found in foods of animal origin, since artisanal salts that do not contain iodine are often chosen.

On this International Thyroid Day, the call is to become aware of the importance of proper nutrition for thyroid health and work together to reduce the risk factors associated with thyroid cancer.

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