Healthy Food Onion Protects the Upper Aerodigestive Tract (UADT) Against the Risk of Cancer

By Kyle J. Norton

Aerodigestive tract is the combined organs and tissues of the respiratory tract and the upper part of the digestive tract including the lip, tongue, major salivary glands, gums and adjacent oral cavity tissues, floor of the mouth, tonsils, oropharynx, nasopharynx, hypopharynx and other oral regions, nasal cavity, accessory sinuses, middle ear, and larynx.

Cancer is a class of diseases characterized by irregular cell growth in the tissue of a specific organ due to the alternation of cell DNA.

The upper aerodigestive tract cancer a type of invasive cancer that starts in the cell on the surface of the inner lining of the aerodigestive tract before proliferating to deeper layer to form a tumor.

According to the statistics provided by the Scottish Health Service, upper aerodigestive tract cancer accounts for approximately 4% of all malignancies with cancers of salivary glands, gums, nasopharynx, and nasal cavity and accessory sinuses. Epidermoid carcinomas account for greater than 95% of all cases.

Epidemiologically, aging, male gender, ethnicity are some of the most common prevalent factors associated with the incidences.

The 5-year relative survival rate of upper aerodigestive tract (UADT) was approximately 50%, depending on the type of UADT.

Dr. F. Bravi, the lead scientist in the examination of the diet patterns in the risk of UADT wrote, “
The most consistent findings are the beneficial role of a dietary pattern based on fruit and vegetables or nutrients mostly contained in such foods, and the unfavorable role of an alcohol drinker pattern. A possible unfavorable role of patterns based on meats and animal products emerged as well”.

The onion is a plant in the genus Allium, belongings to the family Alliaceae, a close relation of garlic. It is often called the “king of vegetables” because of its pungent taste and found in a large number of recipes and preparations spanning almost the totality of the world’s cultures. 
Depending on the variety, an onion can be sharp, spicy, tangy, pungent, mild or sweet.

On finding a potent compound for the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal tract cancer, researchers examined the effect of total allium, garlic, and onion intake on the risk of cancer of the upper aerodigestive tract (UADT).

The study identified 21 case-control and four cohort studies through the searching data of published observational studies, using a meta-analytic approach and random effects models.

* The overall relative risks (RR) for the squamous cell carcinoma of the UADT were 0.72 (95% CI 0.57-0.91) for onion for the highest versus the lowest consumption.

* Onion showed a strong inverse relation in case-control studies with the RR of 0.56.

* In Chinese studies onion showed a lesser effect compared to garlic for esophageal than for head and neck cancers.

* Believe it or not, there was no relation between allium vegetable intake and adenocarcinoma of the esophagus.
These results strongly suggested that onion process a significant anti-upper aerodigestive tract (UADT) cancer effect, depending on the types of gastrointestinal tract cancer.
Collectively, researchers after taking other factors into account wrote, “We found a moderate inverse association between allium vegetable intake and the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the UADT in case-control studies”.

Taken altogether, onion processed a higher mount of onionin A (ONA) may be considered a remedy for the treatment of upper aerodigestive tract cancer effect, depending on the types of UADT, pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Allium vegetables and upper aerodigestive tract cancers: a meta-analysis of observational studies by Guercio V1, Turati F2, La Vecchia C1, Galeone C2, Tavani A. (PubMed)
(2) In vitro influence of spices and spice-active principles on digestive enzymes of rat pancreas and small intestine by Ramakrishna Rao R1, Platel K, Srinivasan K. (PubMed)
(3) Upper aerodigestive tract cancers by Muir C1, Weiland L. (PubMed)
(4) Dietary patterns and upper aerodigestive tract cancers: an overview and review by
 Bravi V. Edefonti G. Randi M. Ferraroni C. La Vecchia A. Decarli (Annuals of Oncology)