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Processed Meats Increase Risk of Colorectal Cancer While Whole Grains Decrease Risk

Processed Meats Increase Risk of Colorectal Cancer While Whole Grains Decrease Risk
Author Information (click to view)

American Institute for Cancer Research


American Institute for Cancer Research (click to view)

American Institute for Cancer Research

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Eating whole grains daily, such as brown rice or whole-wheat bread, reduces colorectal cancer risk, with the more you eat the lower the risk, finds a new report by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF). This is the first time AICR/WCRF research links whole grains independently to lower cancer risk.

Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Colorectal Cancer also found that hot dogs, bacon and other processed meats consumed regularly increase the risk of this cancer. There was strong evidence that physical activity protects against colon cancer.

“Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers, yet this report demonstrates there is a lot people can do to dramatically lower their risk,” said Edward L. Giovannucci, MD, ScD, lead author of the report and professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. “The findings from this comprehensive report are robust and clear: Diet and lifestyle have a major role in colorectal cancer.”

The new report evaluated the scientific research worldwide on how diet, weight and physical activity affect colorectal cancer risk. The report analyzed 99 studies, including data on 29 million people, of whom over a quarter of a million were diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Other factors found to increase colorectal cancer include:

  • Eating high amounts of red meat (above 500 grams cooked weight a week), such as beef or pork
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Consuming two or more daily alcoholic drinks (30 grams of alcohol), such as wine or beer

Click here to read the full press release.

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