A new study suggests that a diet free of red meat significantly reduces the risk of colon cancer in women living in the United Kingdom.
University of Leeds The researchers were part of an international team that assessed whether red meat, poultry, fish, or a vegetarian diet was associated with the risk of colon and rectal cancer.
Comparing the effect of these diets on the development of cancer in specific areas of the colon, they found that those who regularly eat red meat compared to a diet without red meat have higher rates of distal colon cancer – cancer found in the descending part of the colon, stored feces.
Lead author Dr. Diego Rada Fernandez de Joregui is part of the Food Epidemiology Group (NEG) at Leeds and the University of the Basque Country in Spain. He said: “The effect of various types of red meat and dietary models on the localization of cancer is one of the biggest problems in studying the diet and colorectal cancer.
"Our research is one of the few studies studying this relationship, and while further analysis is needed in a larger study, it can provide valuable information for those who have a history of colorectal cancer and those who are working on prevention."
More than 20 million new cases of colorectal cancer, also known as intestinal cancer, are expected worldwide by 2030. It is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in the UK. Previous studies have shown that consuming large amounts of red and processed meat increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer, and it is estimated that about 1 out of 5 bowel cancers in the UK are associated with eating these meat products. However, there is limited available information on specific dietary patterns and the site of cancer in the intestine.
The study used data from a United Kingdom female cohort study. This cohort included a total of 32,147 women from England, Wales and Scotland. They were recruited and screened by the World Cancer Research Fund from 1995 to 1998 and were tracked for an average of 17 years.
In addition to reports of their dietary habits, a total of 462 cases of colorectal cancer were recorded and, due to colon cancer, 335, 119 cases had distal colon cancer. An analysis of a study published today in the International Journal of Cancer examined the relationship between four dietary samples and colorectal cancer, and an additional research analysis examined the relationship between nutrition and the colon subfamily.
Co-author Janet Cade is the head of the NEG and a professor of Food Epidemiology and Public Health at the School of Food Sciences and Nutrition in Leeds. She said: “Our study not only helps shed light on how meat consumption can affect sections of a colorectam in different ways, it emphasizes the importance of reliable dietary reporting from large groups of people.
“With access to the Women's Cohort Study of the United Kingdom, we can identify trends in public health and analyze how diet can influence cancer prevention. Accurate dietary reporting provides researchers with the information they need to link these two. ”
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