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New Dietary Clue to Colon Cancer

Study finds possible link between glycemic load and development of disease

TUESDAY, Feb. 3, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- A high dietary glycemic load may increase the risk of colorectal cancer in women, says a Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital study in the Feb. 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Glycemic load is a measure of how quickly the body turns carbohydrates in foods into sugars (glycemic index) in relation to the amount of carbohydrates per serving of a particular food. White breads, white rice and some pastas are examples of foods with high glycemic load.

In this study, researchers examined the association between dietary glycemic load, overall dietary glycemic index, carbohydrate, fiber, non-carbohydrate, sucrose and fructose with the subsequent development of colorectal cancer.

The study concluded that high dietary glycemic load was associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Fructose, non-fiber carbohydrate and total carbohydrate were also associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer.

"A diet with a high glycemic load may increase the risk of colorectal cancer by affecting insulin and insulin-like growth factors or by exacerbating pro-inflammatory responses, either locally or systemically. Further work is needed to elucidate these mechanisms," the study authors write.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about colorectal cancer.

SOURCE: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, news release, Feb. 3, 2004
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