Scientists from National Cancer Center Institute for Cancer Control and elsewhere found that fruit and vegetables may prevent colon cancer in men who have never smoked.
Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is a type of cancer that affects the colon or rectum.
The colon is the large intestine, which is responsible for absorbing water and nutrients from food, while the rectum connects the colon to the anus and is responsible for storing and expelling waste from the body.
Colon cancer usually begins as a small growth or polyp on the inner lining of the colon or rectum, which can then become cancerous over time.
If not detected and treated early, colon cancer can spread to other parts of the body and become more difficult to treat.
The goal of this study was to learn about the link between vegetable and fruit consumption and the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) based on smoking status.
The Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study is a large research project that followed 89,283 people between the ages of 45 and 74 from 1995-1999 to 2013.
The participants completed a survey about their lifestyle and dietary habits, and researchers used this data to determine whether eating more vegetables and fruit is associated with a lower risk of CRC.
Overall, the study found no link between vegetable and fruit intake and CRC risk for either men or women.
However, when the data was split up by sex and smoking status, it was found that men who had never smoked and ate more vegetables and fruit had a lower risk of CRC.
Specifically, those who consumed the most fruit and vegetables had a 28% lower risk of CRC than those who ate the least.
This suggests that smoking may play a role in the relationship between vegetable and fruit intake and CRC risk among men.
It is important to note that this study only shows an association and does not prove causation.
The team says further research is needed to determine why vegetable and fruit intake may protect against CRC in men who have never smoked.
It is important to eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables.
This study highlights the potential benefits of a diet rich in vegetables and fruit for CRC prevention, particularly for men who have never smoked.
However, other factors, such as family history and age, also play a role in CRC risk, so it is important to speak with a healthcare provider about appropriate screening and prevention strategies.
The research was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition and was conducted by Miyuki Hori et al.
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