What you eat can play a big role in preventing colorectal cancer, with research showing that fiber-filled foods lower risk; red and processed meats increase it. Now a study hones in on how diet can affect risk, showing that swapping a high-fiber healthy diet for a low-fiber western-style diet alters gut bacteria and signs of inflammation that may play a role in colon cancer.
The study is published in Nature Communications and it adds to a growing body of research on how our bacteria – our microbiota – play a role in cancer risk.
For the study, researchers flipped the diets of 20 African Americans and 20 South Africans for two weeks. All the participants had colonoscopy exams before and after the diet swap.
The Americans were served African-style foods, almost quadrupling their fiber intake to an amount equal to over 3.5 cups of beans. At the same time, they cut their calories from fat in half. Africans went the opposite direction, dramatically cutting their fiber and upping their fat intake.
After two weeks on the African diet, the Americans had less markers of inflammation in the colon while those same markers increased among the Africans eating the less healthy diet. There were also opposing increases and decreases of the compound butyrate, which forms from digesting fiber and is linked to lowering colon cancer risk. The American group was producing more butyrate; the Africans on the American diet less. Continue reading
Following at least two healthy behaviors that are key AICR Recommendations, such as eating a healthy diet and being active, lowers the risk of colorectal cancer to some degree, with the more you follow the lower the risk, suggests a new study that highlights the importance of practicing multiple healthy behaviors.
Published in BMC Medicine, the study joins a growing body of independent research that investigates how AICR Recommendations for Cancer Prevention link to reduced risk of specific cancers, survivors, and mortality. Here are some of those other studies.
This latest study was conducted among 350,000 Europeans ages 25 to 70. They are part of the large European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), which spans 10 countries. When people joined EPIC they gave information about their diet, smoking, activity and other lifestyle habits. Continue reading
We each are living with millions of bacteria teeming in our gut that help us metabolize food and stay healthy.
Now a new study suggests that shifting to a fiber-filled healthy diet with fruits and vegetables may increase the bacteria species in our gut and that in turn, may improve metabolic abnormalities linked to obesity.
Published in Nature yesterday, the study works in tandem with another in the same issue that suggests having a diverse array of bacteria makes a difference to our health. People with less bacteria diversity had more insulin resistance and inflammation, which are risk factors for cancer. They also were also more likely to gain weight.
In the diet study, researchers looked at the microbial diversity among 45 people who were overweight or obese. The scientists analyzed the number of bacteria genes, dividing the group into those who had low or high bacterial diversity: 40 percent had low; 60 percent high. To start with, the people with less bacterial diversity had higher insulin resistance, triglycerides, and inflammation. Continue reading