Study reveals new dietary risk factors for colorectal cancer

July 15, 2013, University of Edinburgh

Fizzy drinks, cakes, biscuits, crisps and desserts have all been identified as risk factors for bowel cancer, according to new research.

The study is the first of its kind to find a positive link between the disease and a diet high in foods that contain a lot of sugar and fat.

Researchers looked at risk factors including diet, levels of physical activity and smoking in a large Scottish study.

A team from the University of Edinburgh examined more than 170 foods. These included fruit, vegetables, fish and meat, as well as high-energy like chocolates, nuts and crisps and including fruit squash.

Scientists reported links with some established risk factors of – such as family history of cancer, physical activity and smoking. They also identified new factors including high intake of high energy snacks and sugar-sweetened drinks.

The study – which used data from the Scottish Colorectal Cancer Study – carried out in 2012, builds on previous research into the link between and diet. Those studies identified two distinct eating patterns – one, high in fruit, vegetables and other healthy foods and the other – known as the western pattern, which is high in meat, fat and sugar.

The healthy dietary pattern was found to be associated with a decreased colorectal cancer risk, while the western was found to be associated with an increased risk.

Dr Evropi Theodoratou, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences, said: "What we have found is very interesting and it merits further investigation using large population studies. While the positive associations between a diet high in sugar and fat and colorectal cancer do not automatically imply 'cause and effect', it is important to take on board what we've found – especially as people in industrialised countries are consuming more of these foods."

The study is published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention.

Explore further: Snack attack: Eating unhealthy snack foods may affect cancer risk in patients with Lynch syndrome

Related Stories

Snack attack: Eating unhealthy snack foods may affect cancer risk in patients with Lynch syndrome

December 17, 2012
A new analysis has found that loading up on snack foods may increase cancer risk in individuals with an inborn susceptibility to colorectal and other cancers. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the ...

You can help reduce your colon cancer risk, expert says

March 8, 2013
(HealthDay)—Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, but there are ways you can help prevent it, an expert says.

Dietary patterns may be linked to increased colorectal cancer risk in women

October 24, 2011
Researchers may have found a specific dietary pattern linked to levels of C-peptide concentrations that increase a woman's risk for colorectal cancer.

Starchy, high carbohydrate diet associated with recurrence of colon cancer

November 7, 2012
Colon cancer survivors whose diet is heavy in complex sugars and carbohydrate-rich foods are far more likely to have a recurrence of the disease than are patients who eat a better balance of foods, a new study by Dana-Farber ...

Diet high in vegetables and fruit associated with less weight gain in African-American women

May 20, 2011
Investigators from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University have reported that African American women who consumed a diet high in vegetables and fruit gained less weight over a 14-year period than those who consumed ...

Lack of fish in diet linked to anxiety in pregnancy

July 15, 2013
Women who do not eat fish during pregnancy are more likely to experience high levels of anxiety at that time. Researchers from Children of the 90s at the University of Bristol and the Federal University of Rio de Janiero, ...

Recommended for you

Single blood test screens for eight cancer types

January 18, 2018
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers developed a single blood test that screens for eight common cancer types and helps identify the location of the cancer.

Researchers find a way to 'starve' cancer

January 18, 2018
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to starve a tumor and stop its growth with a newly discovered small compound that blocks uptake of the vital ...

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

January 18, 2018
Cancer metastasis, the migration of cells from a primary tumor to form distant tumors in the body, can be triggered by a chronic leakage of DNA within tumor cells, according to a team led by Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial ...

Modular gene enhancer promotes leukemia and regulates effectiveness of chemotherapy

January 18, 2018
Every day, billions of new blood cells are generated in the bone marrow. The gene Myc is known to play an important role in this process, and is also known to play a role in cancer. Scientists from the German Cancer Research ...

These foods may up your odds for colon cancer

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—Chowing down on red meat, white bread and sugar-laden drinks might increase your long-term risk of colon cancer, a new study suggests.

The pill lowers ovarian cancer risk, even for smokers

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—It's known that use of the birth control pill is tied to lower odds for ovarian cancer, but new research shows the benefit extends to smokers or women who are obese.

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

JRi
not rated yet Jul 15, 2013
"...established risk factors of colorectal cancer – such as family history of cancer, physical activity..."

Physical activity should lower the cancer risk, not increase it, I believe.
neversaidit
not rated yet Jul 16, 2013
*everything* increases cancer risk. *breathing* increases cancer risk. the question is how much.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.