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Breathe Easier With Fruits and Veggies

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John Weisburger, PhD, a senior member of the American Health Foundation in Valhalla, N.Y., explains that while carotenoids undoubtedly play a role in neutralizing free radicals, "fruits and vegetables also contain other antioxidants, like quercitin, that may also play a role," he says.

Although the study's findings apply to smokers and nonsmokers alike, Michaud has a message for smokers in particular. "We want to re-emphasize that for lung cancer, the most important thing is to have people stop smoking," she says. "Then, on top of that, diets rich in fruits and vegetables provide protection as well." Smoking accounts for more than 90% of the lung cancer cases seen yearly.

Michaud adds, "We're not sure exactly what's in vegetables that gives protection, so it's important to eat the fruits and vegetables and not just take a pill."

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