Raw garlic consumption as a protective factor for lung cancer, a population-based case-control study in a Chinese population

Cancer Prevention Research, 05/14/2013

A protective association between intake of raw garlic and lung cancer has been observed with a dose-response pattern, suggesting that garlic may potentially serve as a chemopreventive agent for lung cancer. Effective components in garlic in lung cancer chemoprevention warrant further in-depth investigation.


  • A population-based case-control study has been conducted in a Chinese population from 2003 to 2010, with the aim to explore the association between raw garlic consumption and lung cancer.
  • Epidemiological data were collected by face-to-face interviews using a standard questionnaire among 1,424 lung cancer cases and 4,543 healthy controls.
  • Unconditional logistic regression was employed to estimate adjusted odds ratios (OR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and to evaluate ratio of odds ratios (ROR) for multiplicative interactions between raw garlic consumption and other risk factors.


  • After adjusting for potential confounding factors, raw garlic consumption of >/= 2 times per week is inversely associated with lung cancer (OR = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.44-0.72) with a monotonic dose-response relationship (p for trend <0.001).
  • Furthermore, strong interactions at either additive and/or multiplicative scales were observed between raw garlic consumption and tobacco smoking (Synergy Index (SI) = 0.70, 95% CI = 0.57-0.85; and ROR = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.67-0.90), as well as high-temperature cooking oil fume (ROR = 0.77, 95% CI = 0.59-1.00).

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