Research Shows Plant-Based Diet Reduces Bowel Cancer Risk

A plant-based diet reduces bowel cancer risk in men by 22%

A new study published in the BMC Medicine journal has shown that a plant-based diet reduces bowel cancer risk by 22% in men. The study involved 79,952 men across the United States and discovered that the ones who ate the highest amount of plant-based foods lessened their bowel cancer risk.

Unfortunately, the study did not prove that a plant-based diet reduces bowel cancer risk for women. Researchers who studied 93,475 women in the U.S. didn’t achieve the same results. Participants in the research were asked how frequently they consumed specific meals and beverages from a list of 180 choices. They were also questioned about portion size by the researchers.

The choices were divided into different groups which included animal foods (meat, dairy), less healthy plant foods (potatoes, refined grains), and healthy plant foods (vegetables, legumes). Participants had to indicate whether they consumed each food item “two or more times a day” or “never or hardly ever”. Responses to drinking were spread out between “four or more times a day” and “never or hardly ever”.

According to the World Cancer Research Fund International, bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in the world. Jihye Kim, one of the study’s authors from Kyung Hee University in South Korea, states that the lifetime chance of having it is one in 23 for males and one in 25 for females.

“Although previous research has suggested that plant-based diets may play a role in preventing colorectal cancer, the impact of plant foods’ nutritional quality on this association has been unclear,” said Kim about the news that plant-based diet reduces bowel cancer risk. “Our findings suggest that eating a healthy plant-based diet is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.”

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