Fibre and whole grains ‘reduce bowel cancer risk’

Researchers found that for every 10g a day increase in fibre intake, there was a 10% drop in the risk of bowel cancer. But their analysis of 25 previous studies found that fruit and vegetables fibre did not reduce risk. A cancer charity called for more detailed research on the quantity and type of fibre to eat. Eating fibre and whole grains is known to help protect against cardiovascular disease, but experts say that any link with colorectal cancer is less clear because studies have not had consistent results. Reviewing the results of all previous observational studies in this area, researchers, Leeds and the  analysed data provided by almost two million people.

Their conclusion, published in the British Medical Journal, is that increasing fibre intake, particularly cereal fibre and whole grains, helps prevent colorectal cancer. Whole grains include foods such as whole grain breads, brown rice, cereals, oatmeal and porridge.

A previous study which showed a reduction in risk with high intake of fruit and vegetables suggests that compounds other than fibre in fruit and vegetables could account for this result, said the authors. They also said that the health benefits of of increasing fibre and whole grains intake was not restricted to colorectal cancer. Read more…



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