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|Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor|
You probably already knew that fiber is good for your digestive system and you may have learned from our most recent article that it may help prevent breast cancer. Well now another study has shown that fiber may help dramatically reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Researchers from the Centro di Riferimento Oncologico in Aviano, Italy conducted the study and it was published in the January 2012 issue of Annals of Oncology.
Participants in the study included 326 individuals with pancreatic cancer and 652 without. The researchers analyzed data obtained via a food frequency questionnaire used to determine fiber intake.
They discovered that intake of soluble fiber was associated with a 60% reduced risk of developing pancreatic cancer, fruit fiber was associated with a 50% reduced risk, and cellulose and lignin intake was associated with a 50 to 60% reduced risk. Grain fiber, however, did not show any protective effects.
The researchers have several hypotheses for the anti-carcinogenic properties of fiber. One is that fiber slows the transit of food which provides more time for the body to bind potentially carcinogenic chemicals in the intestines. Another is that fruit and vegetable consumption (a large source of fiber) is linked with better lifestyle choices in general and contains other nutritional compounds that offer a protective benefit..
Previous studies have linked fiber consumption with lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, regulating blood sugar for people with diabetes and breast cancer prevention. Soluble fiber can be found naturally in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium. Insoluble fiber can be found in whole wheat and grains, brown rice, fruit, broccoli, cabbage and dark leafy vegetables.
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