• Open Access

Fresh and pickled vegetable consumption and gastric cancer in Japanese and Korean populations: A meta-analysis of observational studies


To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: jskim@ncc.re.kr


It is widely known that vegetable consumption contributes to reducing the risk of gastric cancer (GC). However, the incidence rates of GC remain high in both Japanese and Korean populations, even though they have a high consumption of total vegetables. This may be due to the fact that Japanese and Koreans mainly consume processed vegetables, such as cooked, salted, or pickled vegetables, rather than fresh vegetables. To determine whether the intakes of fresh and pickled vegetables have different effects on the risk of GC in Japanese and Korean populations, we carried out a meta-analysis of published epidemiological reports. Eight studies on the consumption of fresh vegetables and 14 studies on the consumption of pickled vegetables related to GC risk were included in this meta-analysis. Four studies exploring differences in GC risk in men and women were considered separately. We observed that a high intake of fresh vegetables was significantly associated with a decreased risk of GC (overall summary OR = 0.62, 95% CI = 0.46–0.85) but that a high intake of pickled vegetables was significantly associated with an increased risk of GC (overall summary OR = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.06–1.53). The results of this meta-analysis provide evidence that a high intake of pickled vegetables may increase GC risk and suggest that a high consumption of fresh vegetables, rather than a large total amount of vegetables including pickled vegetables, is important to reduce GC risk. (Cancer Sci 2009)