Western diet ups risk of colorectal cancer

December 13, 2006 in Cancer Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News

Western diet ups risk of colorectal cancer

New research findings from France suggest the typical Western diet - one that's low in fibre and high in calories and processed food - is linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer risk.

The study, conducted by researchers at the Institute Gustave Roussy, identified four dietary patterns. A "healthy" diet was considered high in fruit, vegetable, olive oil and fish intake. A "Western" diet was high in processed meats, eggs, butter, potatoes, processed grains and cheese. A "drinker" diet had an emphasis on alcoholic beverages, snacks, sandwiches and processed meats.

Researchers found that the participants whose diet closely matched the "Western" were 39 percent more likely to develop an adenoma and the "drinker" diet was associated with a 58 percent higher risk compared to the "healthy" diet.

An adenoma is a collection of growths, or polyps, that can grow on the colon. While these growths are benign, some have the potential to become cancerous.

The study also revealed that people whose diet was rich in meat had a 58 percent higher risk of colorectal cancer risk compared to those following a "healthy" diet.

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