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Monday, January 30, 2023

Men Can Reduce Risk Of Bowel Cancer By 20% If They Stick To Diet High In Veg And Beans

Men who ate a diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, beans and lentils cut their risk of bowel cancer by more than a fifth, one study found.

Women also participated in the study, but found no link between eating more plant-based foods and a lower risk of cancer, which the scientists attribute to men’s overall higher cancer risk.

The study, published in the journal BMC Medicine, involved 79,952 men and 93,475 women in their 60s in the United States.

Researcher Jihye Kim from South KoreaA professor at Kyung Hee University said, “We speculate that antioxidants in vegetables and whole grains may help reduce [bowel] Increases cancer risk by inhibiting chronic inflammation that can lead to cancer.

In the study, people were asked how often they ate a list of more than 180 foods and drinks.

They were also asked about portion sizes.

Men who ate a diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, pulses and lentils cut their risk of bowel cancer by more than a fifth, a study has found (file picture)

People could tick off each food item that they ate “never or almost never” up to “twice or more a day.”

For beverages, responses ranged from “never or hardly ever” to “four or more times a day.”

Food groups are grouped into healthy plant foods (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, vegetable oils, nuts, legumes such as lentils and chickpeas, tea and coffee), and less healthy plant foods (refined grains, fruit juices, potatoes, added sugars) and animal foods (animal fat, dairy products, eggs, fish or seafood, meat).

The researchers then divided daily consumption of 1,000 calories into quintiles, from most consumed to least consumed.

The average age at the start of the study was 60 for men and 59 for women.

“Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the world, with a lifetime risk of colorectal cancer of one in 23 men and one in 25 women,” said researcher Jihye Kim from Kyung Hee University in South Korea.

“We speculate that antioxidants found in foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by inhibiting chronic inflammation that can lead to cancer.

“Since men tend to have a higher risk of colorectal cancer than women, we think this may help explain why eating more healthy plant-based foods is associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer in men but not women.”

The authors found that the association among men also varied by race and ethnicity.

The study, published in the BMC Medical Journal, involved 79,952 men and 93,475 women in their mid-60s in the United States (file photo)

The study, published in the BMC Medical Journal, involved 79,952 men and 93,475 women in their mid-60s in the United States (file photo)

For example, among Japanese-American men, the risk of cancer was 20 percent lower, compared with a 24 percent lower risk for white men.

The team says more research is needed on differences between races.

During the study period, 4,976 people (2.9%) developed bowel cancer, and factors that could have influenced the results, such as whether people were overweight, were taken into account.

Dr Helen Crocker, Head of Research Interpretation at the World Cancer Research Fund, said: “We welcome this study, which adds to our own evidence that eating vegetables, whole grains and legumes can reduce the risk of bowel cancer.

“We also recommend that people limit their intake of red meat and avoid processed meat altogether.

‘Interestingly, in this paper, plant-based diets were only associated with a lower risk of bowel cancer in men. One reason for this, it has been hypothesized, is that men typically consume less plant-based foods and more animal-based foods than women—so there may be an upper-bound effect on the potential benefit for women.

Beth Vincent, Cancer Research UK’s health information manager, said: “This US study adds to the body of existing evidence that a balanced diet rich in fruit, vegetables and fiber is beneficial for both men and women.

“This study tried to compare ‘healthy plant foods’ with ‘unhealthy plant foods’ and found that they were associated with bowel cancer in men. But due to the design of the study, the authors themselves admit we can’t read too much into their results.

“The study relied on people remembering what they had eaten a year earlier. It also assumed that the participants’ diets remained the same over the years and that all meat and animal products were unhealthy – which was not the case.

“Eating a balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy weight, which can reduce your risk of cancer.

“Not smoking, reducing alcohol consumption and staying safe in the sun are other important ways to reduce your cancer risk.”

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