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Cancer Risk: Whole Grains Prevents Colorectal Cancer

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Consuming whole grains daily, such as brown rice or whole-wheat bread, decreases colorectal cancer risk. The more you eat whole grains the lower the risk. This discovery finds a new report by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund. This is the first time AICR/WCRF research associates whole grains independently to reduce cancer risk.

How does whole grain reduces colorectal cancer risk?

Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Colorectal Cancer also found that processed meats consumed frequently increase the risk of this cancer. There was solid evidence that physical activity shields against colon cancer.

“Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers, yet this report demonstrates there is a lot people can do to dramatically lower their risk.” This said by Edward L. Giovannucci, MD, ScD, lead author of the report and professor of nutrition and epidemiology. “The findings from this comprehensive report are robust and clear: Diet and lifestyle have a major role in colorectal cancer.”

The new report assessed the scientific research worldwide on how diet, weight and physical activity disturb colorectal cancer risk. The report analyzed 99 studies, of who over a quarter of a million were diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Lowering Cancer Risk with Fiber, Activity and Grains

The report resolved that consuming about three servings of whole grains daily decreases risk of colorectal cancer by 17 percent. It adds to previous evidence showing that foods comprising fiber reduces the risk of this cancer. People who are more physically active have a lower risk of colon cancer. Here, the reduced risk was deceptive for colon and not rectal cancer.

In the US, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer among both men and women. With an estimated 371 cases diagnosed each day.

AICR evaluates that 47 percent of US colorectal cancer cases could be prevented each year through healthy lifestyle changes. Noted by Giovannucci: “Many of the ways to aid prevent colorectal cancer are essential for overall health. Aspects like retaining a lean body weight, proper exercise, limiting red and processed meat. And eating more whole grains and fiber would lower risk substantially.”

Fish, Fruits and Vegetables, Emerging Evidence

The report found other relations between diet and colorectal cancer risk that were evident but not as clear. There was inadequate evidence that cancer risk increases with low consumption of both non-starchy vegetables and fruit. A higher risk was perceived for ingestions of less than 100 grams per day (about a cup) of each.

The research continues to emerge for these factors, but it all points to the power of a plant-based diet. This said by Alice Bender, MS, RDN, AICR Director of Nutrition Programs. “Change some of your refined grains with whole grains and consume mostly plant foods. Consume plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables and beans they give you a diet packed with cancer-protective compounds. And help you manage your weight, which is so important to lower risk.”

“When it comes to cancer there are no guarantees. But, it’s clear now there are selections you can make. And steps you can take to lower your risk of colorectal and other cancers,” said Bender.

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