Need another reason not to subsist mostly on burgers, wings, and steaks? A new study suggests that men who eat a mostly plant-based diet have a lower risk of bowel cancer.
For the U.S. study, researchers examined the eating habits of 79,952 men. They found that men who consumed the most vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes were 22 percent less likely to develop bowel cancer than their counterparts who rarely ate these foods.
But this was true only for men. Among the 93,475 women in the study, whether or not they followed a more plant-based diet didn’t appear to influence their bowel cancer risk, according to the study results, published November 29 in BMC Medicine.
And the protective effect of a plant-based diet was more pronounced for certain men. The cancer risk reduction associated with this type of diet was greater for people who identified as Japanese, Native Hawaiian, and white than for individuals who identified as Black or Latino.
“These findings emphasize the potential importance of the quality of plant foods on the prevention of colorectal cancer and suggest that the benefits from plant-based diets may vary by sex, race and ethnicity, and anatomic subsite of tumor,” wrote the senior study author, Song-Yi Park, PhD, of the cancer epidemiology program at University of Hawaii Cancer Center in Honolulu, and her colleagues.
To assess eating habits in the study, researchers asked participants how often they ate and drank 180 different types of foods and beverages and inquired about portion sizes. Researchers looked at a variety of food groups, including animal products like meat, dairy, eggs, fish, and seafood; healthier plant-based options like vegetables and legumes; and less healthy plant-based choices like french fries and heavily processed grains.
Over an average follow-up period of almost two decades, there were a total of 4,976 colorectal cancer cases among study participants.
While the study wasn’t designed to prove whether or how specific foods might directly cause cancer, it’s possible that people with healthier plant-based diets consumed more foods rich in fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients associated with a lower cancer risk, the study team wrote. Conversely, it’s also possible that people who ate the most red and processed meats and refined grains consumed more sugars and fats that are associated with an increased risk of some cancers.
One limitation of the study was that researchers looked at all types of animal proteins as a single food group. This means they didn’t separate less-healthy options like red and processed meats from foods associated with a lower cancer risk like fish and dairy. Another drawback of the new study is that researchers lacked data on long-term eating habits to determine whether any changes over time might have influenced participants’ cancer risk.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer and the fourth main cause of cancer fatalities in the world, with about 1.8 million new cases and more than 881,000 deaths in 2018, a study published in the June 2019 International Journal of Cancer found.
The watching, interacting, and participation of any kind with anything on this page does not constitute or initiate a doctor-patient relationship with Dr. Farrah™. None of the statements here have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The products of Dr. Farrah™ are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information being provided should only be considered for education and entertainment purposes only. If you feel that anything you see or hear may be of value to you on this page or on any other medium of any kind associated with, showing, or quoting anything relating to Dr. Farrah™ in any way at any time, you are encouraged to and agree to consult with a licensed healthcare professional in your area to discuss it. If you feel that you’re having a healthcare emergency, seek medical attention immediately. The views expressed here are simply either the views and opinions of Dr. Farrah™ or others appearing and are protected under the first amendment.
Dr. Farrah™ is a highly experienced Licensed Medical Doctor certified in evidence-based clinical nutrition, not some enthusiast, formulator, or medium promoting the wild and unrestrained use of nutrition products for health issues without clinical experience and scientific evidence of therapeutic benefit. Dr. Farrah™ has personally and keenly studied everything she recommends, and more importantly, she’s closely observed the reactions and results in a clinical setting countless times over the course of her career involving the treatment of over 150,000 patients.
Dr. Farrah™ promotes evidence-based natural approaches to health, which means integrating her individual scientific and clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research. By individual clinical expertise, I refer to the proficiency and judgment that individual clinicians acquire through clinical experience and clinical practice.
Dr. Farrah™ does not make any representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness, or completeness of any multimedia content provided. Dr. Farrah™ does not warrant the performance, effectiveness, or applicability of any sites listed, linked, or referenced to, in, or by any multimedia content.
To be clear, the multimedia content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen in any website, video, image, or media of any kind. Dr. Farrah™ hereby disclaims any and all liability to any party for any direct, indirect, implied, punitive, special, incidental, or other consequential damages arising directly or indirectly from any use of the content, which is provided as is, and without warranties.