Colon cancer symptoms: Men can reduce colon cancer risk by eating a healthier, plant-based diet, study suggests

Men can reduce their risk of colon cancer by more than a fifth by eating a diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, beans and lentils, according to a new study.

Researchers found that men who ate the highest amounts of healthy plant-based foods had a 22 percent lower risk of colon cancer than those who ate the least.

However, there is no link between a similar diet and women’s risk of colon cancer, the study says.

In the US, 79,952 men and 93,475 women were involved.

Published in BMC medicineparticipants were asked how often they consumed certain foods and drinks from a list of more than 180 items. They were also asked about portion sizes.

Participants in the study could mark anything from consuming any food or drink “never or almost never” to “four or more times a day.”

Food groups were categorized into “healthy plant-based foods,” including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, vegetable oils, legumes such as lentils and chickpeas, tea and coffee; “Less than healthy plant-based foods” such as refined grains, fruit juices, potatoes, added sugars; and “animal foods” including animal fats, dairy products, eggs, fish or seafood, and meat.

The researchers from Kyung Hee University in South Korea then divided the daily consumption per 1,000 kilocalories into quintiles, from the highest consumption to the lowest.

On average, men took part in the study aged 60 years, while women were 59 years old.

Researcher Jihye Kim said: “Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer worldwide and the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is 1 in 23 for men and 1 in 25 for women.

“Although previous research suggests that plant-based diets may play a role in preventing colorectal cancer, the impact of the nutritional quality of plant-based foods on this association has so far been unclear.

“Our results suggest that a healthy, plant-based diet is associated with a lower risk of colon cancer.”

The study’s authors postulated that antioxidants found in such foods, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains, “might help reduce colon cancer risk by suppressing chronic inflammation.”

Kim explains why there is no link between diet and cancer risk for women: “Since men tend to have a higher risk of colon cancer than women, we suggest that this may explain why eating larger amounts of healthy plant-based foods was linked.” with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer in men but not in women.”

The authors also found that the association between men varied by race and ethnicity, with risk further decreasing in white men (24 percent) compared to Japanese-American men (20 percent).

They called for more research into ethnic differences.

The study also took into account factors that could affect the results, such as weight. Over the course of the study, 4,976 (2.9 percent) developed colorectal cancer.

Additional reporting by PA

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