Whole grains and dairy products appear to decrease the risk of colorectal cancer whilst red and processed meat and alcohol increase the risk

In August 2017 researchers from the UK published their review of the medical scientific literature to assess the association between food, beverage and alcohol intake and risk of colorectal cancer. A total of 111 studies were included in their review. Results showed that there was a 12% increase in colorectal cancer risk for each 100g/day increase in red and processed meat intake and a 7% increased risk for each 10g/day increase of ethanol from alcohol intake. In addition, there was a 17% decrease in colorectal cancer risk for each 90g/day increase of whole grains and 13% for each 400g/day increase in dairy intake. A less convincing decrease in risk was seen for vegetable and fish intake. Fruit, coffee, tea, cheese, poultry and legumes did not appear to be associated with risk of colorectal cancer.

Vieira AR et al. Foods and beverages and colorectal cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies, an update of the evidence of the WCRF-AICR Continuous Update Project. Ann Oncol. 2017 Aug 1;28(8):1788-1802

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