A high-fiber African diet for just two weeks brought a significant decline in the risk factors of colon cancer in Black Americans. Researchers also found through a study that a group of Africans who included in their diet American food rich in animal proteins and fats saw a dramatic jump in their colon cancer risk. Findings of the study have been published in the journal Nature Communications.
Researchers said that it was no surprise for them that eating fiber offered a health benefit by reducing the risk of colon cancer. But they were surprised by how quickly and dramatically the diet yielded the results.
Jeremy Nicholson from Imperial College London who co-led the study said the findings have helped understand the negative effects of Western diet and how colon cancer can become a major health threat in Africa because of increasing ‘Westernization’ of diets there.
Colon cancer as a health risk must not be trivialized, given it is the fourth deadliest form of the disease and kills over 600,000 people a year. The death rates from colon cancer are much higher in Western countries than in Africa or the Far East.
Scientists from Imperial College and the University of Pittsburgh in the United States made joint efforts with a group of 20 African American volunteers and 20 from rural South Africa to look into possible effects of diet and gut bacteria.
It was found that the American group suffered significantly less inflammation in the colon and reduced biomarkers of cancer risk after being on the African diet for two weeks. The African group, on the other hand, was found to have dramatically increased its cancer risk after eating the Western diet for two weeks. The Western diet included lots of food like meat and cheese.
Published: Apr 28, 2015. by Daria Morozova
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