Healthy Plant-Based Diets Lower Men’s Odds for Colon Cancer


By Cara Murez 

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY 29th November 2022 (HealthDay News). Are you concerned about your colon cancer risk? New research suggests that eating whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains may increase your chances of avoiding the disease.

“Although previous research has suggested that plant-based diets may play a role in preventing colorectal cancer, the impact of plant foods’ nutritional quality on this association has been unclear,” said study co-author Jihye Kim, from Kyung Hee University in South Korea, “Our findings suggest that eating a healthy plant-based diet is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.”

Kim pointed out that colon cancer is the third most prevalent cancer in the world. A man’s lifetime chance of developing it is one in 23. One in 25 lifetime chances of developing colon cancer are for women.

The report was posted online on Nov. 29th. BMC Medicine.

Researchers looked at nearly 80,000 men in America and found that the risk of developing colon cancer was 22% lower for those who consumed the most healthy plant-based foods daily.

Researchers did not find the same association in more than 93,000 American women.

“We speculate that the antioxidants found in foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains could contribute to lowering colorectal cancer risk by suppressing chronic inflammation, which can lead to cancer,” Kim said in a journal news release.

“As men tend to have a higher risk of colorectal cancer than women, we propose that this could help explain why eating greater amounts of healthy plant-based foods was associated with reduced colorectal cancer risk in men, but not women,” Kim added.

There was also a variation in risk based on race. The risk of colon cancer was 20% lower for Japanese American men than it was for those who ate more plant foods. However, the risk was 24% lower for white men who ate more of these healthy foods than those who ate less.

In conclusion, there were no associations between colon cancer and diets containing plant-based foods. BlackHispanic and Native Hawaiian men. According to the study authors, this could be due other cancer risk factors found in those groups.

Data were collected from an interethnic survey of adults in Los Angeles and Hawaii, conducted between 1993-96. Around 30% of male participants were Japanese American. 26% were white and 24% were Hispanic. 13% were African-American. Black Native Hawaiians accounted for 7%.

Participants provided information about their food and drink habits during the past year. Researchers compared the intake of healthy and unhealthy foods to determine which was more likely to cause colon cancer. Then, they calculated the incidence of new cases using data from cancer registry databases.

The investigators also took into account other factors such as age, family history, colon cancer history, weight, height, and activity level, alcohol intake, multivitamin usage, daily energy intake, and for women, hormone replacement therapy. Nearly 5,000 people (2.9%) were diagnosed with colon cancer during the study.

It was an observational study and it could not prove a cause/effect relationship. The beneficial effects of dairy and fish on colon cancer were not included in the study. It’s also not known for how long participants adhered to their recorded diets.

The authors stated that future research is required to determine if genetic and environmental factors can influence the relationship between colon cancer and plant-based foods intake.

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More information on colon cancer can be found at the American Cancer Society.

SOURCE: BMC Medicine, news release, Nov. 29th, 2022

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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