Author(s): RyanHarshman M, Aldoori W
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether diet has a role in the development and progression of colorectal cancer (CRC). QUALITY OF EVIDENCE: MEDLINE was searched from January 1966 to December 2006 for articles on the relationship between diet and CRC using the key words colorectal cancer and folic acid, calcium, vitamin D, red meat, or fibre. Evidence that these factors are associated with CRC came from case-control and prospective cohort studies and some clinical trials. MAIN MESSAGE: Whether red meat is a culprit in causing CRC remains unanswered, although any effect it might have is likely moderate and related to processing or cooking. The effect of dietary fibre on risk of CRC has also been difficult to determine because fibre intake is generally low. Evidence that folic acid, calcium, and vitamin D reduce risk of CRC is stronger. In particular, recent research indicates that calcium and vitamin D might act together, rather than separately, to reduce the risk of colorectal adenomas. There might also be an interaction between low folate levels and high alcohol consumption and CRC. CONCLUSION: Before dispensing dietary advice, physicians should understand the potential benefits and harm of specific components of various foods. People might be able to reduce their risk of CRC by increasing their vitamin and mineral levels through eating more vegetables and fruit. Multivitamin and mineral supplements can complement a healthy diet.
This article was published in Can Fam Physician
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy