LSU Health New Orleans research shows relationship between diet and the HPV infection in women


An LSU Health of New Orleans School of Public Health and Medicine study finds that diet and nutrition are linked to HPV infection leading to cervical cancer in women. Professor of Biostatistics Hui-Yi Lin (hugh-yee-lin) says women who consumed less Vitamin A, B2, E, and folate were at higher risk.

“Vegetable – that’s dark greens, beans, and fruits. They are rich in antioxidants. So once the woman is exposed to the HPV and if their immune system is not good the infection will cause tumor growth.” 

The study included data from more than 10,000 women from the 2003-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for women aged 20-39 in the U.S. Nearly 41% of women aged 15 to 59 will be diagnosed with an HPV infection. Lin says HPV is common but a healthy diet can help the body respond against cancer.

“Around 19% of them have HPV infections. So if a woman can take more vegetables and beans that are rich in antioxidants foods will help them to boost their immune system.”

The study also shows 43% of women did not eat any greens and beans, 28% did not eat whole fruits, and…

“And 15% of women did not eat any fruits so this kind of diet is good to improve in order to improve the woman’s health.”

Lin says most HPV infections are asymptotic and resolve within two years, some persist and progress to cervical cancer.

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