Colon Cancer, Meat, Fat & Fiber

In a review of over 88,000 women between 1980 and 1986 ages 30 to 59 years of age without a history of cancer, inflammatory bowel disease or familial polyps, 150 cases of colon cancer were found. Animal fat was positively associated with colon cancer risk though vegetable fat was not. Those who ate a beef, pork or lamb dish daily had a 2.49 relative risk of developing colon cancer compared to those consuming these meats less than once per month.

Processed meats and liver were also associated whereas fish and chicken without the skin were related to a decreased risk. The red meat to chicken and/or fish ratio was strongly associated with incidence of colon cancer. The low intake of fiber from lack of fruits was an increased risk to colon cancer. The author concludes that his data supports earlier evidence that animal fat increases the risk of colon cancer. The substitution of meats high in fat with fish and chicken is recommended.

Source: "Relation of Meat, Fat and Fiber Intake to the Risk of Colon Cancer in a Prospective Study Among Women", Willett, Walter C., MD et al, New England Journal of Medicine, December 13, 1990; 323 (24): 1664-72.
Article copyright Health Action Network Society.

By Kirk Franklin

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