Credit: © stefania57 / Fotolia

Credit: © stefania57 / Fotolia

Mediterranean diet helps prevent colon cancer

The Mediterranean diet helps prevent colon cancer, according to new research presented at ESMO 19th World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer.

The Mediterranean diet is known for its amazing heart health benefits, but the new study shows that it can benefit the brain as well.

The diet puts emphasis on fresh and organic foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs and spices. Fats are replaced with healthy fats like organic olive oil and red meat is limited to a few times a month. Herbs and spices are used to flavor foods instead of salt, and fish and poultry are consumed about twice a week.

The research looked at data from 808 people who were undergoing colonoscopies.

The scientists identified a Mediterranean diet as above average consumption of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, as well as fish and poultry.

The researchers found that people with advanced signs of colon cancer reported consuming fewer components of the Mediterranean diet.

The team also found that increased fruit and fish consumption, combined with a low intake of soda, was most likely to reduce colon cancer polyps.

The researchers wrote:

We found that each one of these three choices was associated with a little more than 30 percent reduced odds of a person having an advanced, pre-cancerous colorectal lesion, compared to people who did not eat any of the MD [Mediterranean diet] components.”

Among people who made all three healthy choices the benefit was compounded to almost 86 percent reduced odds.”

ESMO spokesperson Dr. Dirk Arnold, of the Instituto CUF de Oncologia in Lisbon, Portugal, also comments on the findings, saying, “This large population-based cohort-control study impressively confirms the hypothesis of an association of colorectal polyps with diets and other lifestyle factors.”

This stands in line with other very recent findings on nutritive effects, such as the potential protective effects of nut consumption and vitamin D supplementation which have been shown earlier this year.”

However,” adds Dr. Arnold, “it remains to be seen whether these results are associated with reduced mortality, and it is also unclear if, and when a dietary change would be beneficial.”

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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1. “Parts of Mediterranean Diet Shown to Prevent Colorectal Cancer.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 03 July 2017. Web. 06 July 2017.
2. “Zoning in on Specifics of Mediterranean Diet for Colorectal Health.” EurekAlert!European Society For Medical Oncology, 30 June 2017. Web. 06 July 2017.

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