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E. New Insight into the Dietary Role in Certain Cancers

Narrator: This is Science Today. The rates of prostate and breast cancers in America are alarmingly high, but in Asia they are fairly uncommon.This intriguing difference has led nutritional scientists, such as Leonard Bjeldanes of the University of California, Berkeley, to consider how differences in diet contribute to environmental causes for these cancers and environmental protections against them.

Bjeldanes: The suggestion is there's something about the hormonal activity of our diet that is affecting that. One thing that we do know is that the Asian diet includes a whole lot more vegetables than the Western diet.

Narrator: Bjeldanes says Brassica vegetables like broccoli and bok choy seem to be protective against prostate cancer and that a change in diet seems to be affecting cancer rates in Asian men who immigrate to America.

Bjeldanes: Asian men, once they've been here, it takes a generation or two for the cancer rates in their family to reach the levels of people living in the United States. And it's very well associated with a change in diet that these people encounter.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.