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High-Fiber Diet May Help Thwart Colon Cancer
Date:11/11/2011

FRIDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Eating a high-fiber diet may reduce your risk of colorectal cancer, especially if the fiber is from cereal and whole grains, according to a new review.

British and Dutch researchers analyzed 25 studies that included a total of nearly 2 million people. Compared with the lowest levels of fiber consumption, each 10 gram per day increase in intake of total dietary fiber and cereal fiber was associated with a 10 percent reduced risk of colorectal cancer.

Consuming 90 grams more a day (three servings, or three and one-quarter ounces) of whole grains was associated with about a 20 percent lower risk.

The review did not find significant evidence of a link between fruit or vegetable fiber and colorectal cancer risk.

A previous analysis did find that a high intake of fruit and vegetables was associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer, which suggests that components other than fiber in fruits and vegetables may play a role, the researchers said.

The study appears online Nov. 11 in BMJ.

"In summary, our meta-analysis suggests that a high intake of dietary fiber, particularly from cereal and whole grains, is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer," the researchers wrote in a journal news release.

They also noted that a high-fiber diet may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, overweight, obesity and possibly overall risk of death.

One expert said there may be a physiological basis for the anti-cancer benefit of a high-fiber diet.

"This study highlights the importance of a diet rich in fiber," said Dr. Anthony Starpoli, a gastroenterologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "We know that soluble is most helpful in improving colon transit times. As the contents of the colon move at a better rate, there is thought to be less toxic exposure to the interior of the colon thereby reducing risk of developing c
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