Evidence is strong that consuming high amounts of dietary fiber protects against colorectal cancer. Previous research has suggested that fiber may play a role in colon cancer prevention due to its interaction with trillions of bacteria in our gut.
Now, a study adds to that evidence by focusing on advanced colorectal adenoma, a non-cancerous tumor that has the potential to develop into cancer.
The study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that a high-fiber diet promotes healthy gut bacteria and its byproducts.
Gut microbiota are the microorganisms that live in our digestive tracts – in our stomach, intestines, and colon. We have about 10 trillion human cells in our body, but we have way more – about 100 trillion – microorganisms residing in our gut. A growing body of research is showing that these microorganisms are important to our health – from training our immune system, to producing vitamins and fighting off harmful bacteria. Continue reading
This is the final Friday of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
If you forget everything else we’ve talked about this month regarding colorectal cancer, please remember this one number:
As in, 50 percent. As in, take the number of colorectal cancers that occur in the United States each year — about 143,500 — and cut it in half.
That’s how many cases we could prevent, just by making healthier everyday choices.
- Move more, every day, in every way.
- Eat more fiber-rich foods like vegetables, whole grains, fruits and beans — and make less room for red meat.
- While you’re at it, skip cold cuts, bacon, sausage, hot dogs and other processed meats.
- The more you follow this advice, the easier it’ll be for you to lose the excess body fat that, we now know, makes colorectal cancer more likely.
Fifty percent. One in two.
That’s nearly 72,000 lives that could be spared this debilitating and too-frequently deadly cancer.
All of us at AICR dearly hope you follow the National Cancer Institute’s advice on screening for colorectal cancer. Catching the disease in its early stages can and does save lives.
But we also hope you emerge from National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month with a new awareness that preventing this disease takes place outside of your doctor’s office. It happens every day, hundreds of times, with every small, unremarkable but vitally important choice you make about what to eat and how to live.
As we enter the second week of a month devoted to Colorectal Cancer Awareness, let’s focus on one crucial aspect of prevention about which far too many Americans remain unaware:
Namely, that moving more matters hugely. The evidence is clear: Being physically active is powerfully protective against colorectal cancer.
Unfortunately for the increasingly sedentary American populace, the inverse is also true: Being inactive — as most of us are — makes colorectal cancer more likely.
That urgent message is not being heard, according to the AICR 2013 Cancer Risk Awareness Survey [PDF]. In fact, awareness that the lack of physical activity is a cause of cancer plummeted from a high of 45 percent in 2009 to 36 percent in 2013, the steepest decline in the history of the survey. Continue reading