Reducing Alcohol and Increasing Plant-Based Meals Could Decrease Chances of Certain Cancers

Key Takeaways:

  • Research suggests that a plant-based diet and controlled alcohol consumption could lower the risks for obesity-associated cancers.
  • This potential link was noticed after analyzing medical and dietary data of nearly 3,000 American men and women and observing 480 cases of obesity-related cancers.
  • Daily limiting alcohol to two drinks for men, one for women, noticeably impacted obesity-related cancers, particularly in breast, prostate, and colorectal areas.
  • Increasing the intake of fruits, vegetables, and legumes was also linked with a reduced risk of colon cancer.
  • The study suggests that future dietary guidelines for cancer prevention should underline the benefits of plant-based diets and restricting alcohol consumption.

Scientific studies put forth strong evidence suggesting that embracing a plant-based diet and keeping consumption of alcohol in check may aid in minimizing the risk for cancers tied to obesity.

Researchers claim that approximately one-third of various cancers, including those situated in the gastrointestinal tract, reproductive organs, urinary tract, blood, bone, spleen, and thyroid, might be associated with excess body fat.

Establishing the Connection: Dietary Habits And Cancer

In an attempt to prove this hypothesis, researchers undertook an extensive analysis of a vast range of medical and dietary data procured from about 3,000 American men and women. Most notably, between the years 1991 and 2008, 480 cases of obesity-related cancers were reported amongst the participants.

Although this raw data doesn’t conclusively establish cause and effect, some interesting patterns emerged. Notably, strict adherence to the cancer prevention guidelines set forth by global health bodies, even after factoring in age, smoking, and various other sources of cancer risk, did not demonstrate any significant reduction in obesity-related cancer risks.

Impact of Alcohol Consumption and Plant-Based Eating on Cancer Risks

On the contrary, by limiting the daily alcohol intake–two drinks for men and just one for women, a proactive step in dealing with obesity-related cancers was noticed. Especially noteworthy was its protective power against cancers of the breast, prostate, and colorectal regions.

Elevating intake of fruits, vegetables, and legumes was associated with a reduced colon cancer risk, the study noted.

The Importance of Diet and Limiting Alcohol

“Our study’s results point towards an important fact–dietary guidelines for cancer prevention should focus on accentuating the significance of plant-based diets and the curbing of alcohol consumption,” stated the study’s senior author.

The findings of this research are to be published in the upcoming January issue of the journal Cancer Causes & Control.

Further Reading

For more details about obesity and cancer risk, you may want to refer to the information provided by the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

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