Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables has long been recommended to promote overall well-being and health. Researchers at the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research now believe that the types of produce consumed can affect a person’s risk of colorectal cancer in different ways, depending on the site of the carcinoma.
In a study, a team of scientists found that brassica vegetables — which include Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage — may have a protective effect against distal and proximal colon cancer. However, apples were specifically associated with a lower risk of tumors of the distal colon, while fruit juice appeared to increase chances of rectal cancer.
“It may be that some of the confusion about the relationship between diet and cancer risk is due to the fact that previous studies did not take site of the [colorectal cancer] into account,” said lead investigator Lin Fritschi, Ph.D.
Authors of the study emphasized that, in general, consumption of fruits and vegetables was associated with a lower risk of distal colon cancer.
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