Fruits and Veggies May Not Cut Overall Colon Cancer Risk

But eating both may reduce the risk of distal colon cancer

MONDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Consuming vegetables and fruits does not significantly lower overall colon cancer risk, but may reduce the risk of distal colon cancer, according to the results of a study published in the Oct. 3 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Anita Koushik, Ph.D., of the University of Montreal in Quebec, Canada, and colleagues pooled the results of 14 studies of vegetable/fruit intake and colon cancer risk involving 756,217 people who were followed for six to 20 years. They found that the 5,838 colon cancer diagnoses were not strongly linked to vegetable and fruit consumption, with a colon cancer relative risk of 0.94 for total vegetables, 0.93 for total fruits, and 0.91 for total fruits and vegetables between highest and lowest consumption quintiles.

Cut-off points of under 200 grams daily intake versus 800 or more across studies gave similar results. Analysis by location of cancer yielded relative risks of 1.02 for proximal colon cancer versus 0.74 for distal colon cancer, and lower but statistically insignificant distal colon cancer risks for highest vegetable and fruit consumption.

"Fruit and vegetable intakes were not strongly associated with colon cancer risk overall but may be associated with a lower risk of distal colon cancer," the authors conclude.

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