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Fruit and vegetables may reduce colorectal cancer risk

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By Jimmy Downs

Saturday March 23, 2013 (foodconsumer.org) -- A study in International Journal of Cancer suggests that eating lots of antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables may prevent colorectal cancer.

Earlier research shows an association between eating foods with high fiber including fruit and vegetables and reduced risk of colorectal cancer.

The current study led by Dr Marta Rossi from Department of Epidemiology, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche “Mario Negri” in Milano, Italy found total dietary antioxidant capacity was associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer.

Antioxidants are commonly found in fruit and vegetables, rarely in meat and dairy products.   The study suggests that eating fruit and vegetables can help prevent colorectal cancer, which should not be surprising. 

The Italian case-control study was based on data from 1953 patients with incident histologically confirmed colorectal cancer including rectal cancer and colon cancer, and 4154 patients admitted to the same hospital for other diseases.  Total antioxidant capacity was estimated using Italian food composition tables.

The researchers found total anntioxidant capacity was inversely correlated with colorectal cancer risk. Those who in the lowest quintile of total antioxidant capacity were about 30 percent more likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer, compared with those in the highest quintile.

The seemingly preventative effect was more significant on rectal cancer than colon cancer.

The researchers said "This is the first case-control study indicating consistent inverse relations between dietary TAC and colorectal cancer risk."

The best way to prevent colorectal cancer is to eat a lot of high fiber vegetables and eat as less meat and dairy as possible. 

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