In determining a person's risk of colon cancer, how much they eat may be more important than what they eat, US researchers report.
The results of the study suggest that high intakes of total energy (calories) and individual macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat) may increase risk for colon cancer. However, the risk associated with individual macronutrients appears to be largely due to the fact that they contribute to total caloric intake.
The researchers came to these conclusions following a study investigating the high rate of colon cancer in blacks. The study involved 933 white and 676 black subjects. Among the findings, a diet high in fiber reduced the risk of colon cancer to a much greater extent in blacks than in whites.
Other results differed depending on whether total caloric intake was considered. For example, in both racial groups, high intake of individual energy sources was generally associated with a two- to threefold increase in colon cancer risk. However, these associations largely disappeared when the authors adjusted for total caloric intake.
The investigators concluded that total caloric intake was consistently associated with colon cancer risk, but associations with individual macronutrients varied somewhat by race and by adjustment for caloric intake.
Therefore, as with many other chronic diseases, proper calorie balance appears to be important in reducing the risk for colon cancer.
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