The new large scale study – published in Gut – tracked the health of a population-based sample of 80,000 people in Sweden, finding that people consuming more than four portions of vegetables per day (a diet rich in vegetables) were 44% less likely to develop acute pancreatitis than those who ate less than 1 serving a day.
Led by Viktor Oskarsson of the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, the researcher team noted that their population-based prospective cohort study is the first to examine the association of vegetable and fruit consumption with the risk of acute pancreatitis.
“A significant inverse association between vegetable consumption and risk of non-gallstone-related acute pancreatitis was observed; the risk declined in a linear dose–response fashion for every additional serving per day,” said Oskarsson and his colleagues.
“The risk reduction seemed to be more pronounced among alcohol drinkers and among overweight participants,” they added – noting that the risk of developing the condition fell by 71% among drinkers and by 51% among those who were overweight, but who ate more than four portions per day.
“Our findings, if confirmed by other studies, indicate a potential benefit of increasing the consumption of vegetables for the prevention of non-gallstone-related acute pancreatitis,” said the researchers.