Comparisons of people living in different countries, together with other human studies, have shown that too much fat in the diet can lead to cancer of the colon, with saturated fat the chief culprit. Animal tests agree that too much fat can be dangerous but suggest it is the polyunsaturated fats that are mostly to blame.(1)
Clinical studies have also suggested that a high fibre diet is beneficial and the idea has been tested by animal researchers. Again the results are conflicting, some experiments showing a reduced risk of cancer and others an increased risk.(2) And although population studies have identified diets high in animal protein as most risky,(3) much laboratory research suggests that the type of protein is irrelevant.(2)
Human studies have consistently shown that diets rich in fruit and vegetables can protect against colon cancer. In contrast, many of the natural substances evolved by fruit and vegetables to protect themselves from predators and parasites, actually cause cancer when tested in rats and mice!(4)
1) J.L.Freudenheim & S.Graham, Epidemiologic Reviews, 1989,vol.11,229-235.
2) D.Galloway, Cancer Surveys, 1989, vol.8, 169-188.
3) B.Armstrong & R.Doll, International Journal of Cancer, 1975, vol.l5, 617-631.
4) P.H.Abelson, Science, 1990, September 21, 1357.
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