Eating fruits and vegetables was not strongly associated with decreased colon cancer risk, according to a study published online in the September 25 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Several studies have examined the relationship between colon cancer and fruit and vegetable intake, but the results have been inconsistent. A team of researchers led by Anita Koushik, Ph.D., formerly of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, analyzed the association between fruit and vegetable intake and colon cancer risk by pooling the results of 14 studies that included 756,217 men and women who were followed for 6 to 20 years.
Their analysis showed that while fruit and vegetable intake was not strongly associated with overall colon cancer risk, there may be a lower risk of cancer of the distal colon--the left-hand side of the colon--among those who consumed the largest amounts of fruits and vegetables. However, the difference in the associations for cancers on the left and right sides was not statistically significant.
"Results for each fruit and vegetable group were generally consistent between men and women," the authors write.
Citations: Koushik A, Hunter DJ, Spiegelman D, Beeson WL, van den Brandt PA, et al. Fruits, Vegetables, and Colon Cancer Risk in a Pooled Analysis of 14 Cohort Studies. J Natl Cancer Inst 2007; 99:1471-1483
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