Saturated fat triples risk of intestinal cancer

November 24, 2008 in Cancer Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News

Saturated fat triples risk of intestinal cancer

Eating a diet that's high in saturated fat may increase the risk of intestinal cancer, according to a report by the National Cancer Institute.

In this new study, the research team looked at the meat and fat intake of half a million men and women to determine the associations with cancer of the small intestine.

The small intestine makes up 75 percent of the digestive tract, yet rarely do cancers develop there, more often showing up in the large intestine, or colon.

After eight years, people with the highest intake of saturated fat intake had a three-fold increased risk of intestinal tumours when compared with those who had the lowest intake of this harmful fat.

Saturated fat is found in founds of animal origin such as red meat, eggs, milk, cheese and butter. Vegetable oils, such as coconut, palm kernel and palm oil, are also saturated. 

Intake of saturated fat should be limited to less than 10 percent of total calories. If you eat a 2,000 calorie diet, no more than 20 grams of saturated fat should be consumed in one day. One hamburger contains nine grams of saturated fat.

To reduce your intake of saturated fat, eat lean meats such as chicken, turkey or fish instead of red meat and choose lower fat milk or cheese made with partly skimmed, skim or 1% milk fat (M.F.).

According to the British Columbia Cancer Agency, cancer of the small intestine is most common in men who are over 45 years of age.

For more information about nutrition strategies to prevent cancer, check our March 2008 Cookbook Review, Cooking with Foods that Fight Cancer.

This study was published in the journal Cancer Research.

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.