This article originally appeared on Live in the Now.
Colon cancer continues to be a leading cause of cancer deaths, as the number of newly diagnosed cases continues to grow concurrent with the rate of obesity and processed food consumption.
This may come as no surprise to natural health followers who understand that fried and hydrogenated foods alter cell structure and metabolism, and refined carbohydrates and sugars boost insulin and blood glucose levels as they provide fuel for cancer cell growth and propagation.
Dutch researchers have published the results of their study in the journal Cancer that explains how eating unhealthy snack foods may increase the risk of colorectal cancer in people with a genetic susceptibility to certain types of cancer. Although this study focused on patients with a condition known as Lynch syndrome, an inherited syndrome caused by mutations in DNA mismatch repair genes and characterized by development of colorectal cancer, and other cancers at an early age, the results are relevant to all individuals who consume a diet of processed snack foods.
Past studies have shown that excess alcohol consumption and red and processed meats can increase the risk of cancer in people, especially those diagnosed with Lynch syndrome. Smoking and obesity have been identified as other possible risk factors. To prepare the study, scientists developed a cohort of 486 people with Lynch syndrome. The participants in this study provided information about their eating habits and were followed for an average of 20 months. Diets were evaluated based on a questionnaire including 183 food items and then plotted on a multi-point scale rated as ‘prudent’ or ‘snack-based.’
Over the course of the study, 58 participants developed precancerous colorectal polyps. Lead study author Dr. Akke Botma commented, “We saw that Lynch syndrome patients who had an eating pattern with higher intakes of snack foods, like fast-food snacks, chips or fried snacks, were twice as likely to develop these polyps as Lynch syndrome patients having a pattern with lower intakes of snack foods.” Those whose diet was considered ‘prudent,’ featuring a high percentage of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and fish, tended to have modest, though non-significant, decrease in risk.
Dr. Botma concluded that “although more research is needed to estimate the exact influence of dietary patterns on colorectal carcinogenesis, modifiable factors, such as diet, could influence development of colorectal neoplasms.”
Colon cancer is a disease borne largely from eating a diet of synthesized and processed foods created in a manufacturing facility. Eliminating or drastically limiting convenience fare in favor of foods in their natural form can provide a significant shield against colorectal cancer and many chronic illnesses.