Fiber Prevents Colon Cancer
High fiber and whole grains, when eaten as part of a healthy, well balanced diet, have the potential to prevent bowel and colon cancer. This is according to a study in the British Medical Journal. Researchers in London found that for every increase of 10 grams per day of fiber in the diet, there was a reduction by 10 percent in bowel cancer risk.
Interestingly, not all fibers make a difference in colon cancer risk. For example, fiber gotten from fruits and vegetables did not seem to make a difference. Fiber from whole grains clearly protect one against heart disease but the jury was still out on the effect of whole grains on preventing colon cancer. This is because not all studies were clear on the effect of fiber on colon cancer. One study combined several studies involving a total of two million people. The British Medical Journal study was clearer in fiber’s effect on colon cancer prevention.
In addition, there are things you can do besides eat fiber in order to lower colon cancer risk. For example, smoking increases the risk of colon cancer. Eating foods high in fact can make the risk of colon cancer worse.
So what kinds of fibers are considered the best when it comes to colon cancer prevention? Fibers such as porridge, brown rice, cereals and whole grain breads have found to work the best. It was found that even moderate amounts of fiber in the diet seem to make a difference in cancer prevention. You need to add three servings per day of whole grain bread in order to reduce cancer risk by 20 percent.
Cancer research has shown that the lifetime chance of coming down with colon cancer is about 6.9 percent in men and, in women, the risk is 5.4. It isn’t known why men get colon cancer more likely than in women. Perhaps it’s a change in the diet between the two genders. Women eat more fruits and vegetables but this does not alter the risk of colon cancer.
High fiber has other healthy effects on the body. It reduces the risk of developing heart disease, it lowers the risk of obesity and reduces type 2 diabetes. Mortality is increased in those who do not consume fiber in their diet.
Certain types of grains are more protective than others. Especially good grains include whole grain rye bread, whole grain wheat bread, cereals that are whole grain, and brown rice (not white rice). Oatmeal and porridge are also very healthy.
Doctors feel that more research is needed to determine the exact effect of fiber on colon cancer risk. Many research studies are clear on the issue while others are not so clear. Even with the lack of clarity, it is recommended that you eat at least three servings of fiber per day. This, stopping smoking and decreasing fat intake all affect colon cancer risk. Practice all these behaviors and you can keep yourself healthy.
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