Letter: In praise of fibre

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The scepticism of Barry Groves (letter, 27 January ) is both unwarranted and unhelpful. The hypothesis that a high-fibre diet may help reduce the risk of bowel cancer is based on a large body of evidence which was detailed in the Government's Coma report last year.

Individual studies are only useful as pointers and the balance of the data still supports a role for a fibre-rich diet.

Other major studies which are due to report in the near future such as Epic (following over 400,000 men and women in nine European countries) will provide additional valuable evidence.

The importance of a balanced diet that is rich in fruit, vegetables and cereals in maintaining good health is not in dispute and certainly can do no harm. This remains the position of the American Cancer Society, the Cancer Research Campaign and other European cancer charities.


Head of Science Information

The Cancer Research Campaign

London NW1