Meta-analysis supports fibre for uterus cancer protection
reduce their risk of endometrial cancer by over 20 per cent,
suggests a new meta-analysis.
Bringing together the results of one case-cohort study and nine case-control studies, researchers led by Elisa Bandera from The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, report a strong protective effect from higher fibre consumption. Endometrial cancer is the fifth most common cancer among women worldwide - around 7,000 American women die from the disease annually - but incidence of the cancer varies more than 10-fold worldwide. Previously, studies have reported that excessive and prolonged exposure of the endometrium (lining of the uterus) to oestrogens without progesterone can increase the risk of cancer. Moreover, it has been reported that dietary fibre may regulate oestrogen levels in the body. Writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Bandera and co-workers state that, on the basis of seven case-control studies, every five grams of fibre per 100 calories in the diet was associated with an 18 per cent reduction in endometrial cancer risk. Taking eight case-control studies, the researchers report that the highest dietary fibre intake was associated with a 29 per cent reduction in risk, compared to women with the lowest average intake. "Although the current evidence, based on data from case-control studies, supports an inverse association between dietary fibre and endometrial cancer, additional population-based studies, particularly cohort studies, are needed before definitive conclusions can be drawn," they concluded. Whole grains, a rich source of phytochemicals, bran, fibre, minerals and vitamins, have been gaining increasing attention from researchers, with studies reporting reduced risks of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and colorectal cancer. Previously, intake of soy foods has been linked to a reduced risk of endometrial cancer. Indeed, a study published in the British Medical Journal (2004, Vol. 328, p1285), reported that women with the highest isoflavone consumption had a 23 per cent lower risk than the lowest intake group. Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition December 2007, Volume 86, Number 6, Pages 1730-1737 "Association between dietary fibre and endometrial cancer: a dose-response meta-analysis" Authors: E.V. Bandera, L.H. Kushi, D.F. Moore, D.M. Gifkins and M.L. McCullough