Recent studies published in the journal Cancer Science have disproved the common myth that consumption of red meat increases colorectal cancer risk.
Published by the world’s largest society publisher Wiley-Blackwell, the study also found that consumption of fish and fish products was similarly inversely related to the risk.
High intake of red meat has traditionally always been associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer, especially in Western countries. There has recently been heightened interest in examining the role n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) plays in enabling colorectal cancer prevention further, as existing epidemiological findings are limited and inconsistent.
Researchers have run a large case-control study in Japan, examining associations of meat, fish and fat intake with risk of colorectal cancer, paying particular attention to the subsite within the colorectum. The Fukuoka Colorectal Cancer Study – using a newly developed personal-computer software for registering semi quantitative food frequencies – found that intake of beef/pork, processed meat, total fat, saturated fat or n-6 PUFA showed no clear association with the overall or subsite-specific risk of colorectal cancer.
Lead author, Dr. Yasumi Kimura from the Graduate School of Medical Sciences at Kyushu University said, “There was an almost significant inverse association between n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) intake and incidences of colorectal cancer, particularly in the distal colon.”
“This study provides further evidence that a diet with a high intake of fish and n-3 PUFA can help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.”
The published findings not only disproves the common hypothesis that consumption of red meat increases colorectal cancer risk, the results also suggest that a high intake of fish may in fact decrease the risk- particularly in the case of distal colon cancer.
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