Increased intake of citrus fruit is associated with a decreased risk of bladder cancer, according to a new meta-analysis published online ahead of print in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.

The meta-analysis, by Sudong Liang, MD, of Soochow University in Yangzhou Jiangsu, China, and colleagues, included 8 case-control studies and 6 cohort studies totaling 7,372 cases and 935,800 subjects. Pooled data from the 14 studies showed that individuals with the highest intake of citrus fruit had a 15% decreased risk of bladder cancer risk compared with those who had the lowest intake. Analysis of data from the case-control studies showed a significant 23% decreased risk. Investigators found no association between fruit intake and bladder cancer risk in the cohort studies.

“Our results suggest that there is limited evidence for a protective association between high citrus fruit intake and bladder cancer risk,” the researchers wrote.

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Dr. Liang’s group explained that an inverse association between citrus fruit consumption and bladder cancer risk is biologically plausible. “Citrus fruits are good courses of multiple cancer-chemopreventive agents such as vitamin C, carotenoids, flavonoids, limonoids, folic acid, and dietary fiber.”