For years the medical establishment has recommended eating a high-fiber diet to make us healthier and help prevent cancer - especially colon cancer. New research from the Harvard School for Public Health has found that the connection between fiber and colon cancer isn't so direct.
Researchers looked at 13 studies involving more than 725,000 people over the past 20 years. They found that at first glance there appears to be a correlation between a high-fiber diet and reduced incidence of colon cancer. However, when they corrected the findings for other healthy lifestyle factors for low-risk people, such as eating foods rich in the B vitamin, folate, and eating less red meat, the results were not as clear cut. It appears fiber alone doesn't reduce the colon cancer risk, but it's one of the factors whose combined influence can reduce this type of cancer.
Even if fiber does not have a major impact on colorectal cancer, there is still convincing evidence that dietary fiber helps prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and several other chronic conditions. So keep eating those bran muffins and vegetables.
For more information on this new research go to: WebMD.
Article published on June 23, 2008.