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Dietary Fiber Lowers Colon Cancer Risk

Dietary Fiber Lowers Colon Cancer Risk

Sunday, May 4th 2003

Two studies reported in the May 3 issue of The Lancet further support that high-fiber diets do indeed reduce the risk of colon cancer, contrary to the results of some recent studies.

"Dietary fibre, particularly from grains, cereals, and fruits, was associated with decreased risk of distal colon adenoma," write Ulrike Peters, from the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland, and colleagues.

In the randomized Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial, the investigators used a food frequency questionnaire to compare fiber intake of 33,971 subjects who did not have polyps on sigmoidoscopy with that of 3,591 subjects who had at least one adenoma in the distal large bowel (descending colon, sigmoid colon, or rectum).

After adjustment for potential dietary and nondietary risk factors, high intake of dietary fiber was associated with a lower risk of colorectal adenoma. Participants in the top quintile of dietary fiber intake had a 27% lower risk of adenoma than those in the lowest quintile (95% confidence interval [CI], 14% - 38%; P = .002). Compared with the lowest quintile, those in the top quintile had an increase in fiber intake of 24 g per day.

Although risks were similar for advanced and nonadvanced adenoma, fiber intake did not affect risk of rectal adenoma. "Finding an inverse association for small (non-advanced) adenoma suggests that high-fiber diet is protective from the earlier stages of adenoma formation," the authors write.

In the second study, Sheila A. Bingham, PhD, and colleagues from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC) prospectively examined the association between dietary fiber intake and incidence of colorectal cancer in 519,978 individuals aged 25 to 70 years, recruited from 10 European countries.

After an average follow-up of 4.5 years, there were 1,065 diagnoses of colorectal cancer. Risk of colorectal cancer was 25% lower in subjects in the top quintile for fiber intake than in subjects in the bottom quintile (adjusted relative risk, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.59 - 0.95). Mean fiber intake was 35 g in the top quintile and 15 g per day in the bottom quintile. As in the other study, fiber intake did not protect against risk of rectal cancer.

"No food source of fiber was significantly more protective than others," the authors write. "In populations with low average intake of dietary fiber, an approximate doubling of total fiber intake from foods could reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by 40%."

Lancet. 2003;361:1491-1495, 1496-1501

Laurie Barclay, MD

Reviewed by Gary D. Vogin, MD

Footnote from Ideal Health:

The following products are all useful for Cancer:

Alkalising Greens
Antioxreds Powder
Bowel Clear
Carotenoid Complex
Cell Food
Complete Antioxidant
Enzogenol with ACE and Selenium
Family C - 300 grams
Esiak Capsules
Ezziac Tea
Multi Fibre Capsule
pH Balancing Simplified & pH Test Strips
Prosgenia A & B

Related health information can be found here:

Acid and alkaline forming foods
DIM to assist in cancer prevention
Green Tea as a medicinal beverage
Nutrient use for specific cancers
Soy isoflavones for disease prevention
The Good Health Diet
The Prostate Gland

Related articles can be found here:

Current Combined HRT Use Doubles Risk of Breast Cancer
Dietary Fiber Lowers Colon Cancer Risk
Esophageal and Gastric Cancer in Population Tied to a Few Main Risk Factors
Lifestyle Changes May Prevent or Reverse Prostate Cancer
Second Prostate Cancer Gene Found
Smoking Increases Risk of Familial Pancreatic Cancer
Women Unaware of Viral Link to Cervical Cancer

If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.


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