Eating garlic and onions every day may drastically reduce one’s risk of developing breast cancer, according to a new study out of the University of Buffalo and the University of Puerto Rico. The researchers focused on women in Puerto Rico, where a condiment called sofrito made primarily of the two aromatics is frequently consumed.
Existing research has indicated that garlic and onions may have anti-cancer effects when consumed. The latest study looked at the potential effect of eating both of these foods instead of only one or the other. Women in Puerto Rico presented a unique opportunity for this study due to the frequent consumption of sofrito, a base sauce made with garlic and onions.
According to the researchers, the frequent consumption of this sauce means that women in Puerto Rico usually consume greater quantities of garlic and onions than women located in the US and Europe. Of note, Puerto Rico is also known for its lower rates of breast cancer compared to the rates found in the mainland states.
The study involved 314 women who had breast cancer and another 346 control subjects. After crunching the numbers, the study found that women who consumed sofrito more than one time daily had a huge 67-percent decrease in their odds of developing breast cancer compared to women who didn’t consume it as often.
The researchers found that the total amount of garlic and onions consumed daily was associated with the decreased risk, including these aromatics used in other dishes. The study points to a number of beneficial compounds found in garlic and onions that may drive the benefit, including organosulfur and flavonols.