- A study suggests a meaningful correlation between a nutritious plant-based diet and a decreased risk of colon cancer in men.
- Men consuming substantial daily average quantities of healthy plant-based foods had a 22% lower risk of colon cancer compared to those consuming fewer plant-based foods.
- The antioxidants present in foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains might help to reduce colon cancer risk by curbing chronic inflammation.
- The study found variations in colon cancer risk among different races, with Japanese American and white men experiencing lower risk rates on the diet compared to Black, Hispanic, or Native Hawaiian men.
- While the study could not establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship and didn’t consider possible beneficial effect of fish, dairy or other factors on colon cancer, it provides important insights for future research.
For every aging gentleman perturbed about the potential risk of colon cancer, consuming a diet dense in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes could enhance your chances of steering clear of the ailment, according to recent research.
Plant-Based Diets and Their Effects
“Notwithstanding previous studies implicating plant-based diets in the prevention of colorectal cancer, the role of plant foods’ nutritional quality in this association has been nebulous,” mentioned Jihye Kim, a researcher from Kyung Hee University in South Korea. She continued, “Our research, however, indicates a clear correlation between a nutritious plant-based diet and a decreased risk of colorectal cancer.”
Kim highlights that colon cancer ranks third in global cancer incidence, with one in every twenty-three men and one in every twenty-five women being at risk during their lifetime.
The novel findings were revealed recently in BMC Medicine.
Population Study & Research Insights
In the study, almost 80,000 men in America were examined. The study found that those consuming the most substantial daily average quantities of healthy plant-based foods had a 22% diminished risk of colon cancer as compared to those who consumed the least quantities.
However, a similar correlation did not manifest when studying over 93,000 American women.
The Philosophy behind the Impact on Men
“We postulate that the antioxidants present in food items like fruits, veggies, and whole grains might contribute to reducing colorectal cancer risk by curtailing chronic inflammation, which can initiate cancer,” Kim stated.
“Since men typically have a higher risk of colorectal cancer than women, consuming more healthy plant-based foods could be a plausible reason for men, not women, to experience reduced colorectal cancer risk,” she elucidated further.
The risk was found to have racial variations. For instance, when comparing Japanese American men who ate maximum plant foods to those who ate the least, colon cancer risk was lower by 20%. For white men adopting a similar diet, the risk was lower by 24%.
Nevertheless, no considerable correlations were seen between plant-based diets and colon cancer in Black, Hispanic, or Native Hawaiian men. The researchers speculate other cancer risk factors in these ethnic groups could possibly explain it.
The Methodology & Scope of the Study
The statistics originated from a multiethnic survey among adults gathered from Hawaii and Los Angeles between 1993 and 1996. 30% of the male participants were of Japanese American descent, 26% were white, 24% were Hispanic, 13% were Black, and 7% were Native Hawaiian.
The researchers assessed the regular food and drink intake of the participants from the previous year, based on both healthy and unhealthy plant foods. The incidence of new colon cancer cases was computed until 2017 using data from cancer registries.
Factors such as age, colon cancer family history, body mass index, smoking history, energy intake, physical activity, alcohol use, multivitamin use, and for women, hormone replacement therapy use, were all accounted for during the investigation. During the research period, nearly 5,000 participants (2.9%) were diagnosed with colon cancer.
Despite the fact that the study couldn’t establish a cause-and-effect relationship and didn’t factor in the beneficial effects of fish and dairy on colon cancer, it offers pertinent insights into future research which might delve into genetic and environmental factors impacting the relation between plant-based food consumption and colon cancer across different racial and ethnic groups.
Read more about colon cancer from the American Cancer Society.