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Following This Diet Could Lower Your Colon-cancer Risk – Say Studies

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Kamal Saini
Kamal S. has been Journalist and Writer for Business, Hardware and Gadgets at Revyuh.com since 2018. He deals with B2b, Funding, Blockchain, Law, IT security, privacy, surveillance, digital self-defense and network policy. As part of his studies of political science, sociology and law, he researched the impact of technology on human coexistence. Email: kamal (at) revyuh (dot) com

It is at the top of the ‘dishonorable’ list of the most common cancers. Detecting it early thanks to routine check-ups is a priority, but avoiding its appearance is the golden rule.

Not surprisingly, it is estimated that 104,270 (52,590 men and 51,680 women)  adults in the United States alone will be diagnosed with Colon Cancer this year.

With such a high risk, you’re likely wondering: What are you doing that might raise your risk?

We have references to research that documents folate, magnesium, and dairy products can help prevent it, while there is no good evidence that garlic or onions, fish, tea, or coffee protect against disease, according to a meta-analysis published in the journal ‘Gut’.


It is not the first time that science has looked at some of these nutrients as possible ‘shields‘ against the aforementioned tumor disease.

Thus, Marinos Pericleous, from the Royal Free Hospital in London (United Kingdom), published in the ‘Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology’ a review study that determined:

“There is evidence on the benefits of circulating vitamin D and calcium, derived from the diet and supplemented in colon cancer. We also found that diets rich in folate can prevent colorectal carcinoma. The evidence on dietary micronutrients like zinc and selenium in relation to it is not conclusive.”

Magnesium and dairy

In the case of this mineral, a meta-analysis, published in the ‘European Journal of Clinical Nutrition’, carried out by researchers from Soochow University (in Suzhou, China), found that its higher intake seems to be associated with a modest reduction in risk of the illness.

Stronger is the association between daily milk consumption and a reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer, as shown by Spanish researchers, as stated in ‘Advances in Nutrition’. The research, carried out by scientists from the Ciber of Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBEROBN), of the Human Nutrition Unit of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili, shows that, compared to a low intake, the higher consumption of dairy products can reduce up to 20% the chances of being a victim of the disease.

The new evidence

The data on the role of these nutrients have been revealed by scientists from the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in France, led by Marc Bardou.

Since this type of cancer can take more than 15 years to develop, the scientists thought that a healthy lifestyle is likely to play a key role in helping to stop or stop its progress altogether, as they themselves point out.

Therefore, they searched relevant research databases for published systematic reviews and meta-analyzes (pooled data analysis) of clinical trials and observational studies evaluating the impact of dietary and medicinal factors on cancer disease risk.

The medicinal factors included: aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), paracetamol, and statins. The dietary factors included: vitamins or supplements (magnesium, calcium, folic acid, vitamin A, B, C, E, D, β-carotene, and selenium), coffee, tea, fish and omega 3 fatty acids, dairy products, fiber, fruits, and vegetables, meat and alcohol.

They included relevant studies conducted between September 1980 and June 2019 but excluded those that involved people at high risk of developing the disease. About 80 articles out of a total of 343 were included in the global (overall) pooled data analysis.

The results in favor

  • Aspirin (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, NSAID): It probably protects against colorectal cancer by reducing the risk by 14% to 29% at doses as low as 75 mg/day, with a reported dose-response effect of up to 325 mg/day. The use of NSAIDs for 5 years was associated with a significant fall (26% to 43%) in its incidence.
  • Magnesium: Intake of at least 255 mg/day was associated with a 23% lower risk compared to the lowest intake
  • Folic acid: High consumption was associated with a 12-15% lower risk, although a dose threshold could not be established from the available data.
  • Dairy products: Similarly, eating dairy products was linked with a lower risk of the disease (13% to 19% lower). “But the small number of meta-analyzes available and the many different research results and the variety of dairy products included prevent us from drawing firm conclusions about the amounts needed to prevent disease,” the researchers caution.
  • Fiber: It was associated with a 22% to 43% lower risk, while fruit/vegetable intake was associated with a 52% lower probability, with an additional benefit for each additional 100g / day increase in intake.
  • Soja: A modest, but significant (8-15%) drop in risk was associated.
  • Vitamins: In contrast, there was no evidence that vitamins E, C, or multivitamins were protective. Similarly, it did not exist for β-carotene or selenium.

Likewise, the data were weak or equivocal on the impact of tea, garlic or onions, vitamin D alone or in combination with calcium, coffee and caffeine, fish and omega 3, and inconsistent with the protective effect of vitamin A and vitamin B.


On the other side of the coin, the ‘precursors’ of the disease, according to most meta-analyses of observational studies, were:

  • Red and processed meat: Increased risk of between 12% and 21%. Dose-effect studies reported a 10-30% increased risk for every additional 100 g / day of red meat eaten.
  • Alcohol: It was associated with a significantly higher risk. The higher your intake, the more your chances of succumbing to the disease increase. This was evident even at the lowest level of consumption studied: 1-2 drinks/day.

The scientists suggest that their findings could help doctors advise patients on the best diet to follow to reduce the risk of disease and guide future research in this field.

Image Credit: iStock

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