High fibre foods 'cut bowel cancer risk'

 

A diet high in fibre-rich foods such as porridge, brown rice and cereal cuts the risk of bowel cancer, according to an analysis of 25 studies.

Experts said cereal fibre and whole grains in particular cut the risk but found "no significant evidence" of a reduction for fibre in fruit, vegetables and legumes such as lentils and beans.

The study, published online in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), found that for every 10g a day increase in fibre intake, there was a 10% drop in risk of bowel cancer.

So people who already had a diet containing 5g of fibre a day had a 10% reduction in risk if they ate 15g a day.

There was also a 20% reduction in risk for every three servings a day (90g a day) of whole grains.

Whole grain foods include whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice and porridge.

The researchers, including experts from Imperial College London and the University of Leeds, said: "Our results indicate a 10% reduction in risk of colorectal cancer for each 10 g/day intake of total dietary fibre and cereal fibre and about a 20% reduction for each three servings (90 g/day) of whole grain daily, and further reductions with higher intake."

The lifetime risk of developing bowel cancer for men is around one in 18. For women, it is around one in 20.

Previous studies have produced mixed results on whether fibre reduces the risk of bowel cancer.

The researchers said more studies were needed on different types of fibre and on people with different lifestyles and diets.

The latest combined research involved almost two million participants.

Around 38,500 cases of bowel cancer are diagnosed every year in the UK and the disease kills more than 16,000 people.

Dr Rachel Thompson, deputy head of science for the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), said: "Taken together with other evidence, the findings of this study provides strong evidence that foods containing fibre reduce risk of bowel cancer.

"This new study, which is part of our Continuous Update Project, is one of the main reasons that our expert panel now judges the evidence on the link stronger than before.

"This adds further weight to our recommendation that people who want to reduce their risk of cancer should eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and pulses."

Deborah Alsina, chief executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said: "This valuable study provides further evidence that it is possible to stack the odds against bowel cancer.

"Simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can make a huge difference. Changes such as increasing your intake of fibre can genuinely help you feel healthier and reduce your risk of the disease.

"This is great news because it's achievable by most people and could have a big impact on the nation's health."

PA

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

    £6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

    £12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

    Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

    £32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

    Day In a Page

    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing
    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower