Fiber Prevents Precancerous Polyps
High-fiber diets may help prevent colon cancer, according to new results from the Polyp Prevention Trial. Previous studies yielded ambiguous findings about whether fiber could reduce the recurrence of colon polyps, which are often a first indication of colon cancer. The new report found that participants most compliant with a high-fiber, high-fruit-and-vegetable diet had a 35 percent lower risk of precancerous polyp recurrence, compared with people who did not change their diets. The high-fiber diet reduced odds of advanced polyp recurrence almost 50 percent. The 1,905 participants were at least 35 years old and had at least one confirmed colorectal polyp. The test diet limited fat to 20 percent of calories, with 18 grams of fiber and 3.5 servings of fruits and vegetables per 1,000 calories.
In previous studies, vegan and vegetarian diets have been associated with a much lower incidence of colon cancer.
Sansbury LB, Wanke K, Albert PS, et al. The effect of strict adherence to a high-fiber, high-fruit-and-vegetable, and low-fat eating pattern on adenoma recurrence. Am J Epidemiol. 2009;170:576-584.
Fraser GE. Associations between diet and cancer, ischemic heart disease, and all-cause mortality in non-Hispanic white California Seventh-day Adventists. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;70(suppl 3):532S-538S.
Red and Processed Meat Increases Prostate Cancer Risk
Meat consumption increases the risk of prostate cancer, according to a new study including more than 175,000 men in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. The men who consumed the most red meat had a 30 percent increased risk of cancer, compared with those who consumed the least. Processed red meat (e.g., hot dogs, bacon, sausage, or deli meats) was associated with a 10 percent increased risk of prostate cancer for every 10 grams (about one-third of an ounce) of increased intake. Use of nitrite preservatives, grilling, and barbecuing all were associated with higher risk.
Sinha R, Park Y, Graubard BI, et al. Meat and meat-related compounds and risk of prostate cancer in a large prospective cohort study in the United States. Am J Epidemiol. 2009;170:1165-1177.
Plant-Rich Diet Protects Against Breast Cancer
A prudent diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruit may decrease the risk of breast cancer, according to a large study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Researchers studied the dietary patterns of nearly 60,000 women in the Black Women’s Health Study. Women following a more prudent diet had a lower incidence of breast cancer, compared with others in the study. The results showed that younger women and those at a healthy weight may especially benefit.
Participants following a Western diet of refined grains, processed meat, and sweets showed no benefits. Other studies have found that the Western diet may lead to increased cancer risk.
Agurs-Collins T, Rosenberg L, Makambi K, Palmer JR, Adams-Campbell L. Dietary patterns and breast cancer risk in women participating in the Black Women’s Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;90:621-628.
The Cancer Project is a nonprofit PCRM subsidiary that advances cancer prevention and survival through nutrition education and research.