November 11, 2011
Cereal Fiber Reduces Risk Of Colorectal Cancer
According to a new study, eating a diet high in fiber is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.
The researchers give evidence to the 40-year-old idea that dietary fiber played a role in reducing the risk of this type of cancer. Despite the longevity of the assumption of fiber's role, studies attempting to explain the association have not had consistent results.The new study provided further support for public health recommendations to increase fiber intake, particularly cereal fiber and whole grains.
The authors say that further studies are still needed to clarify the results for different types of fiber within the colorectal.
The team analyzed the results of 25 prospective studies involving almost two million participants.
The researchers found that although the overall reductions in risk of colorectal cancer were small, there was a clear risk in association with the amount of dietary fiber.
They discovered that consuming 10 grams of fiber a day was associated with a 10 percent reduction in risk of colorectal cancer. Adding three servings of whole grains a day, 90 grams total, was also associated with about a 20 percent reduction.
The team found no evidence that fruit or vegetable fiber resulted in a reduction of colorectal cancer. However, previous analysis showed a reduction in risk with high intake of fruit and vegetables. The authors say this suggest the potential role of components other than fiber in fruits and vegetables.
Increasing intake of dietary fiber and whole grains is also likely to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
"In summary, our meta-analysis suggests that a high intake of dietary fiber, particularly from cereal and whole grains, is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer," they authors wrote in the British Medical Journal.
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