Fiber may reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer

November 27, 2007 in Cancer Prevention, Healthy Eating, Nutrition Topics in the News

Fiber may reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer

Eating a diet with lots of whole grains and other high-fiber foods may cut pancreatic cancer risk by more than one-third, according to a study from the University of California.

More than 500 people with pancreatic cancer were matched with healthy people of similar age, gender, body weight and history of diabetes. Individuals who ate the most fiber - at least 26.5 grams per day - had rates of pancreatic cancer that were 35 percent lower than those who had the least fibrous diets.

People with the lowest pancreatic cancer risk got their fiber from eating two or more servings of whole grains. Whole grains - brown rice, wild rice, barley, millet and oats - have numerous documented health benefits including prevention of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

In this study, carbohdyrates associated with increase risk of pancreatic cancer were donuts and "instant" cooked cereals like oatmeal. The researchers suggest limiting enjoyment of these foods to less than once a month.

The pancreas is a glandular organ located behind the stomach. It's essential to healthy metabolism because it produces insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include being over 50, a history of smoking, obesity and a diet that is low in fruits and vegetables that contain fiber. Other high fiber foods include lentils, black beans, whole-wheat spaghetti, peas, pears and bran flakes. 

The current recommended daily intake of fiber is 38 grams per day for men and 25 grams for women. To increase your fiber intake gradually, try sprinkling Kellogg's All-Bran Buds on your breakfast cereal or low-fat yogurt. One-third of a cup of bran buds provides 13 grams of fiber. 

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.