Whole grains cut bowel cancer risk

18 November 2011

Every extra gram of dietary fibre intake may reduce the risk of bowel cancer, an analysis of multiple studies suggests (BMJ 2011; online 10 Nov).

Reviewing 25 studies that followed up 1.9 million people, European researchers calculated each daily increase in fibre of 10 grams was associated with a 10 per cent reduction in bowel cancer risk.

Whole grains and cereal fibre were associated with particularly strong protection against cancer, backing public health messages for a high intake, the researchers said.

However, there was no significant evidence for bowel cancer protection from fruit and vegetable fibre, and it may be that other components in fruit and vegetables contributed to positive findings in previous analyses, they said.

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