No correlation was found between fruit and vegetable (F/V) consumption and the risk of differentiated thyroid cancer, but a positive trend may be associated with fruit juice intake, according to a study published in the International Journal of Cancer.

Evidence from prior studies has consistently suggested that fruit and vegetable consumption may have protective effects from cancer, but the data is unclear when it comes to F/V intake and thyroid cancer. Study authors investigated the relationship between F/V intake, fruit juice, and thyroid cancer within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.

The EPIC study enrolled more than half a million patients over nearly a 10-year period and utilized questionnaires to obtain patient health, socioeconomic, and dietary data. Over the study period, 748 patients with first primary incident differentiated thyroid cancer were identified.   

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The results of the study revealed that among patients with thyroid cancer the median total F/V intakes were 391 g/day, vegetables were 175 g/day, fruits were 194 g/day, and fruit juices were 20 g/day.

No significant association was found between differentiated TC risk and intake of total F/V (hazard ratio [HR], 0.89; 95% CI, 0.68-1.15; P =.44), vegetables (HR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.69-1.14; P =.56), or fruit (HR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.79-1.26; P =.64).

A slight positive trend with fruit juice intake was observed (HR, 1.23; 95% CI, 0.98-1.53; P =.06).

The data shows that there are no associations with differentiated thyroid cancer risk and the consumption of total F/V, vegetables, fruits, and their subgroups. The authors conclude however, that “further prospective studies are warranted to confirm these relationships between fruit juice intake and [thyroid cancer] risk.”


1. Zamora-Ros R, Beraud V, Franceschi S, et al. Consumption of fruits, vegetables and fruit juices and differentiated thyroid carcinoma risk in the European prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition (EPIC) study [published online July 24, 2017]. Inter J Canc. doi: 10.1002/ijc.30880