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Eating wholegrains and dietary fibre could have major impact on Bowel Cancer risk

Thursday 7th September 2017

Bowel cancer risk could be reduced by eating wholegrains - a new report published in September 2017 by World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer has revealed.

This report is part of the Continuous Update Project (CUP), an ongoing programme to analyse global research on how diet, nutrition, physical activity and weight affect cancer risk and survival. Among experts worldwide this is a trusted, authoritative scientific resource, which underpins current guidelines and policy for cancer prevention. As part of this programme, worldwide research has been analysed to produce this updated report on colorectal cancer. The new report includes 99 studies, involving 29 million adults, and over a quarter of a million cases of colorectal cancer.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, after breast, prostate and lung cancers. World Cancer Research Fund estimates that about 45 per cent of bowel cancer cases could be prevented in the UK each year through healthy lifestyle changes. 

Foods associated with a decreased risk of colorectal cancer in the report includes:

  • Whole grains: eating around three servings (a total of 90g) of wholegrains a day reduces the risk of colorectal cancer by 17%. 
  • Dairy products: consuming dairy products probably decreases the risk of colorectal cancer.

Factors such as maintaining a lean body weight, proper exercise, limiting red and processed meat may also lower risk substantially.

The published paper is available at: http://www.wcrf.org/sites/default/files/CUP Colorectal Report_2017_Digital.pdf

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