Trans fats boost colon cancer risk

September 2, 2008 in Cancer Prevention, Healthy Eating, Nutrition Topics in the News

Trans fats boost colon cancer risk

Eating a diet that's high in trans fats could increase colon cancer risk, according to new research published in the August 1, 2008 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

To study trans fat intake and colon cancer risk, researchers from the University of North Carolina looked at 622 people who had had colonoscopies between 2001 and 2002. Study participants were interviewed about their diet and other health issues within 12 weeks of having the colonoscopy.

A colonoscopy is an examination of the colon and rectum using a small camera on a flexible tube passed through the anus. It allows the doctor to see early signs of colon and rectal cancers.

The results of this study showed that people who ate the most trans fat - an average of 6.5 grams per day - were 86 percent more likely to have pre-cancerous growths in their colons than those who ate the least amount of trans fat.

Trans fats - found in many baked goods, crackers, cookies, pastries, cakes and other packaged foods - are formed by processing vegetable oils to increase their shelf-life.

Canadians are advised to keep trans fat intake as low as possible, although according to a recent news, the average Canadian eats 10 grams of trans fat per day.  

Statistics from the Canadian Cancer Society show that colon cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer.

In addition to avoiding trans fats, other nutrition strategies to prevent colon include enjoying a diet that's high in fibre, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage) and whole fruits.

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.