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Diet Rich in Fruits, Vegetables Bolsters Colon Health

Rates of colonic adenomas lower in individuals following current USDA dietary recommendations or Mediterranean diet

MONDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Making dietary choices that comply with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Guide recommendations, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Eating Plan, or a Mediterranean diet may lower the risk of developing potentially precancerous colorectal adenomas, particularly in men, according to research published in the November issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

L. Beth Dixon, Ph.D., of New York University in New York City, and colleagues investigated the link between nutrition and cancer risk by studying data from 3,592 men and women aged 55 to 74 with distal, left-sided adenomatous colon polyps detected by sigmoidoscopy and 33,971 individuals without polyps serving as controls.

After adjusting for potential confounding factors, the researchers found that men who most adhered to the USDA Food Guide recommendations had a 26 percent lower risk of colorectal adenoma than men who complied the least. Results were similar for compliance with the DASH and Mediterranean diets. Women who most adhered to the USDA Food Guide recommendations had an 18 percent reduction in the risk of colorectal adenoma compared to those who complied the least, but subgroup analyses showed the benefit was only in current smokers and normal-weight women. Following the DASH and Mediterranean diets was not associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer in women.

"Findings from our study suggest that following current U.S. dietary recommendations or a Mediterranean dietary pattern could improve colorectal cancer prevention and control, especially in men," the authors conclude.

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