Low-fat, high-fibre diets can prevent colon polyps

September 9, 2009 in Cancer Prevention, Gastrointestinal Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Low-fat, high-fibre diets can prevent colon polyps

People who have growths or "polyps" in their colon removed can cut their risk of recurrent growths by sticking to a diet that's low in fat and high in fiber, fruits and vegetables.

In a new analysis, researchers from the National Cancer Institute in Maryland, Bethesda looked at more than 1,000 adults who took part in The Polyp Prevention Trial. This trial tested the impact of a low-fat, high-fiber diet on the recurrence of colon polyps -- benign growths which may raise a person's risk of developing colon cancer.

Among those who completed the study, 30 percent were classified as poor compliers to the low-fat, high-fiber diet while, 45 percent were inconsistent compliers, and 26 percent were classified as super compliers.

Subjects classified as super compliers consistently reported that they met or exceeded all of the requirements for eating a low-fat, high-fiber foods.

These vigilant dieters had 30 percent lower risk of developing a recurrent polyp, compared with their peers who often strayed from the diet.

According to Colon Cancer Canada, 90 percent of all colon cancer cases are preventable. Sadly, an estimated 21,500 new cases were diagnosed in Canada in 2008. Close to 9,000 Canadians lost their lives to colon cancer that same year.

The findings, published in the September 1, 2009 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology, support current recommendations to eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet for colon cancer prevention.

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