High-Fiber Diet Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer

The Physicians Committee

High-Fiber Diet Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer

April 30, 2015

A high-fiber, low-fat diet helps prevent colorectal cancer, according to a study published in Nature Communications. Researchers tracked the typical diets of 20 African-American men and 20 African men for two weeks and monitored cancer incidence rates. For an additional two weeks, each group participated in an inverted intervention whereby the African-American group ate a largely African diet (high in fiber and low in fat) while the African group increased their consumption of animal products and fat intake. Results showed that the low-fat, high-fiber diet centered on corn-based products, vegetables, fruit, and legumes decreased the risk factors for cancer in the African-American group, while the African group was at a greater risk after just two weeks. Researchers suspect changes in animal protein and carbohydrate consumption and changes in gut bacteria due to a shift in diet as potential causes for fluctuations in inflammation. This study hopes to lend credence to dietary interventions as treatment and prevention for cancer.

O'Keefe SJ, Li JV, Lahti L, et al. Fat, fibre and cancer risk in African Americans and rural Africans. Nat Commun. 2015;6:6342.

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