Whole grains cut cancer risk

Eating whole grains can help reduce your risk of developing bowel cancer, according to cancer prevention experts.

Eating three serves of whole grains (90g) a day can reduce your risk by 17 per cent, a research review by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research has found.

The findings in a new report add to existing evidence that eating foods containing fibre decreases the risk of bowel cancer.

But bowel cancer risk is increased by eating processed meat, or too much red meat, being overweight or obese, or drinking two or more alcohol drinks a day, key findings say.

The review also found strong evidence regular physical activity, lowers risk of colon cancer.

The report reviewed evidence from 99 studies from around the world. The studies examined more than 29 million adults and more than 247,000 cases of colorectal cancer.

The most recent Ministry of Health cancer data show in 2014 3,277 Kiwis were diagnosed with bowel cancer. That’s around 63 people diagnosed each week, according to Bowel Cancer New Zealand.

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer and bowel cancer death in the developed world, the organisation says.

First published: October 2017

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