AICR recommends choosing whole grains over refined or processed grains— in addition to being higher in nutrients and phytochemicals, whole grains contain more fiber than refined grains. Foods containing fiber protect against colorectal cancer and may keep you full longer, helping you manage your weight. Whole grains are also linked to a lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Scientists are not sure why whole grains and fiber are beneficial for health, but a new study in mice published in the Journal of Nutrition adds to the evidence that changes in the types of bacteria that live in the intestines—known as the gut microbiota—may be important.
The researchers fed one group of mice flour made from whole grain oats, while the other group of mice got refined flour lower in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber slows the passage of food through the digestive tract, which may help keep you feeling full longer. It is also linked to lower cholesterol and increased insulin sensitivity, important factors in the development of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Both diets had the same amount of protein, carbohydrate, fat, and insoluble fiber. Continue reading
Research shows that eating high amounts of red meat increases risk of colorectal cancer, possibly because it may spur inflammation. A new animal study published in The Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences now points to a sugar molecule found in red meat as one mechanism responsible.
The molecule called N-glycolylneuraminic acid, or Neu5Gc for short, sticks to the ends of sugars found in red meats such as beef, pork, and lamb. Although most mammals produce Neu5Gc, humans don’t. Humans are “immunized” against Neu5Gc shortly after birth by an unusual process involving gut bacteria. As a result, when people eat foods that contain Neu5Gc, we produce antibodies that react to Neu5Gc, triggering inflammation.
Previous research has detected relatively high amounts of Neu5Gc in cancerous tissue.
In foods, Neu5Gc can be free or it can be bound to the ends of long sugar chains attached to proteins. The bound form is highly bioavailable, meaning it can easily be taken up into the body’s cells. Neu5Gc tends to accumulate in cells of the colon, prostate, and ovary. Continue reading
Low alcohol consumption and a plant-based diet, part of AICR’s Recommendations for Cancer Prevention, are associated with reducing the risk of colorectal and other obesity-related cancers, finds a new study, adding to a growing body of independent research on how following AICR’s recommendations links to lower cancer risk, longer survival, and improved overall health.
This latest study was published in Cancer Causes & Control. You can read more about the other studies investigating AICR recommendations here.
The Cancer Causes & Control study included almost 3,000 cancer-free adults who had no history of cancer. Participants were part of the ongoing Framingham Heart Study. Back in 1991, everyone filled out a questionnaire about how much they weighed, what they ate and their activity habits.
After almost 12 years, 480 of the participants had developed an obesity-related cancer, such as colorectal or breast.
Study researchers then scored how much participants met seven of AICR’s recommendations, giving them zero, half point or one point. The scoring included Continue reading