Research at Imperial College London has discovered that for every 10g a day increase in fibre intake, there was a 10% drop in the risk of bowel cancer.
Eating fibre and whole grains is known to help protect against cardiovascular disease, but experts say that any link with colorectal cancer is less clear as studies have provided consistent results.
Reviewing the results of all previous observational studies, researchers across the UK analysed the data provided by almost two million people.
A conclusion was reached and published in the British Medical Journal, that increasing fibre intake, predominantly cereal fibre and whole grain foods including whole grain breads, brown rice, cereals, oatmeal and porridge help to prevent colorectal cancer.
Lead study author and research associate in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at Imperial College London Dagfinn Aune, said their analysis provides a linear association between dietary fibre and colorectal cancer. Also stating ‘The more of this fibre you eat the better it is. Even moderate amounts have some effect.’
Adding a total of 90g (three servings per day) of whole grains to diets has been linked to a 20% reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer.
Cancer of the large bowel, also known as colorectal cancer, is a common form of cancer in developed countries – but occurs much less frequently in the developing world.
Data from Cancer Research UK shows the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the UK is estimated to be one in 14 for men and one in 19 for women.