Double the fibre intake and cuts the bowel cancer risk by almost half. This is what is suggested by the biggest study on European eating habits funded by a consortium including Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the European Commission in which the diets of more than 500,000 people in 10 European countries were studied. The study found that people who ate the most fibre rich food (defined as 35g a day, equivalent to seven portions of fruit and vegetables per day plus five slices of wholemeal bread) had the lowest incidence of bowel cancer, while those with least fibre in their diets had the most cases of the disease.
Professor Nick Day, the lead researcher, said that their report suggests that if people with a low level of fibre in their diet were to double their intake that the risk of bowel cancer could be reduced by 40%.
US researchers from the National Cancer Institute, Rockville also found that people who ate a high fibre diet were less likely to develop colorectal polyps, which can lead to bowel cancer.