A diet with foods rich in fibre and vitamin C could help protect against bowel cancer.
Balancing your diet with protective foods rich in fibre and vitamin C can help prevent the formation of cancer causing compounds in the gut, the British Science Festival will hear today.
Researchers at the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health have carried out the first study to investigate the impact of a combination of different foods on the formation of compounds that can lead to bowel cancer.
A total of 48 obese men took part in trials at the Rowett’s human nutrition unit and followed nine different diets varying in red meat and foodstuffs rich in vitamin C, fibre and nitrates.
Red meat has already been linked with cancer but a diet that relied only on nitrate-rich foods such as lettuce leaves, spinach, radishes, beetroot and turnips could also be problematic.
Dr Silvia Gratz, Research Fellow at the Rowett, said: “Red meat intake is high in the Western world - on average more than 90 grams per day of red meat is eaten by UK men and exceeds the level recommended by the World Cancer Research Fund of 70 grams per day. But high red meat consumption is associated with an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. Therefore the popularity of high protein and high meat diets that aid successful weight loss may cause problems for intestinal health.
“Formation of carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds in the gut is a suggested mechanism to explain the link between red meat consumption and colorectal cancer. Although red meat is considered the most important dietary component linked to the formation of carcinogenic compound, other dietary components may also play a role.
“We conducted three controlled dietary intervention trials, where obese men were fed different weight loss diets with varying amounts of red meat, protein, carbohydrate, fibre, vitamin C and nitrate. We then measured N-nitroso compounds in stool samples, and correlated these with the intakes of each of the dietary constituents. Our results confirmed that a high red meat intake significantly contributes to the formation of carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds. But we also found that a high nitrate intake found in leafy salads and some root vegetables is also associated with an increase in these carcinogenic compounds.
“Our study also showed that that the intake of dietary vitamin C and dietary fibre decrease the formation of N-nitroso compounds in the human gut. Ours is the first study to assess the influence of several dietary contributors to endogenous formation of N-nitroso compounds simultaneously. It highlights the importance of balancing potentially problematic foods such as red meat and high-nitrate foods such as some leafy and root vegetables with protective foods that are rich in vitamin C and dietary fibre.”
Browse by Month
- Jan There are no items for January 2011
- Mar There are no items for March 2011
- Apr There are no items for April 2011
- Jun There are no items for June 2011
- Jul There are no items for July 2011
- Oct There are no items for October 2011
- Nov There are no items for November 2011
- Dec There are no items for December 2011
- Jan There are no items for January 2010
- Feb There are no items for February 2010
- Mar There are no items for March 2010
- Apr There are no items for April 2010
- May There are no items for May 2010
- Jun There are no items for June 2010
- Jul There are no items for July 2010
- Aug There are no items for August 2010
- Sep There are no items for September 2010
- Oct There are no items for October 2010
- Nov There are no items for November 2010