More Support for Diet to Prevent Colorectal Cancer

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Dietary patterns and risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) are clearly linked, according to an umbrella review of meta-analyses of prospective observational studies.

Overall, 24 (68.6%) of the associations deemed significant pointed to protective effects for certain dietary patterns, including adherence to a healthy diet, a Mediterranean diet, a pesco-vegetarian diet, or a semi-vegetarian diet, reported Nathorn Chaiyakunapruk, PharmD, PhD, of the University of Utah College of Pharmacy in Salt Lake City, and colleagues.

The evidence was especially persuasive for an association of both red meat intake (high versus low) and alcohol (≥four drinks/day vs zero/occasional) with CRC incidence, as well as for an inverse risk association of higher versus lower intakes of dietary fiber, calcium, and yogurt. The evidence remained robust after sensitivity analyses, they stated in JAMA Network Open.

Suggestive evidence also emerged for positive associations between higher intakes of processed meat and even a moderate intake of alcohol (more than one to three drinks/day) and CRC incidence.

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