A study conducted at Loma Linda University found a reduction in the risk of developing colorectal polyps in association with consuming specific high fiber foods. The findings were reported in the May, 2011 issue of Nutrition and Cancer.
Yessenia M. Tantamango and colleagues evaluated data from 2,818 participants in the Adventist Health Study-1, which ascertained the consumption of various foods in 1976-77, and Adventist Health Study-2, which determined whether participants in the first study had polyps diagnosed twenty-six years later. While consuming legumes three times or more per week was associated with a 33 percent reduction in the risk of developing colorectal polyps, eating brown rice just once per week was associated with a 40 percent lower risk. Those who consumed cooked green vegetables daily had a 24 percent lower risk of polyps compared to those who consumed them fewer than five times per week. Additionally, dried fruit eaten at least three times a week was associated with a 26 percent decrease in the risk of polyps compared to that associated with less than weekly consumption.
"Legumes, dried fruits, and brown rice all have a high content of fiber, known to dilute potential carcinogens," explained Dr Tantamango. "Additionally, cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, contain detoxifying compounds, which would improve their protective function."
"Eating these foods is likely to decrease your risk for colon polyps, which would in turn decrease your risk for colorectal cancer," she noted. "While a majority of past research has focused on broad food groups, such as fruits and vegetables, in relation to colon cancer, our study focused on specific foods, as well as more narrowed food groups, in relation to colon polyps, a precursor to colon cancer. Our study confirms the results of past studies that have been done in different populations analyzing risks for colon cancer."
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