Dietary fiber does help
prevent colon cancer
Newswise ó Colon cancer takes the
lives of more than 28,540 American men each year, and it kills
nearly as many women, placing it second only to lung cancer on the
list of cancer killers. New studies show that dietary fiber,
previously thought to not aid against colon cancer, has a large role
in preventing it, according to the August issue of the Harvard
Men's Health Watch from Harvard Medical School.
Many studies have shown other
benefits of fiber as well, such as reducing the risk of diabetes,
intestinal problems, and heart disease.
A Harvard study, for
example, found that over six years, the men who ate the most fiber
(averaging 28.9 grams a day) had 41% fewer heart attacks compared
with the men who ate the least.
Scientists have also linked a
high-fiber diet to a 42% reduction in the risk of diverticulosis.
Thatís a big benefit, since half of all Americans over age 60 have
this intestinal condition.
The Institutes of Medicine have
set new daily fiber intake targets for men at 38 grams for those
under 50 and 30 grams for men over 50. Thatís more than twice the
amount in the average diet, but if the scientists are right, eating
that much fiber could reduce the risk of colon cancer by 40%,
reports the Harvard Menís Health Watch.
"You stand to gain a lot from dietary fiber, but to get all these
benefits, you need to eat a good mix of high-fiber foods," says Dr.
Harvey Simon, editor in chief of the Harvard Men's Health Watch.
Fiber is found in abundance in vegetable products such as the bran
of whole grains, the leaves and stems of plants, and nuts, seeds,
fruits, and vegetables