Eating Healthy May Prevent Colon Cancer

NEW ORLEANS - At a presentation at the annual Experimental Biology 2002 conference, Volker Mai, MD, reported preliminary studies show mice that eat healthy food choices have a lower risk of developing cancer of the colon and gut.

Working with the U.S. National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Mai studied mice that were genetically more susceptible to intestinal cancers. Sorted into five groups the mice received one of the following diets: a regular diet, a regular diet plus moderate exercise, a high-fat diet, a calorie-restricted diet or a diet high in olive oil, fruits and vegetables.

Afterward, each pre-cancerous growth was examined in each mouse's gut.

Using the regular diet as the standard, the mice that ate olive oil, fruit and vegetables had a 40 percent lower rate of polyps. Mice on the calorie-restricted diet had a 60 percent lower rate. The mice that ate the high-fat diet had the most polyps.

The researchers concluded that small meals containing plenty of fruits, vegetables and healthy oils will help prevent cancers of the digestive tracts.

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