In 2 weeks time, when African-Americans and rural South Africans exchanged diets, they also exchanged risk factors for colon cancer.
The study included 20 African-Americans who ingested South African diet, which consists of cornmeal and beans for two weeks, while 20 South Africans ate an American meal of meat protein and fats, which includes fast-food burgers and chicken. The South African diet comprised of 1/6 meat in the American diet.
A study made by the University of Pittsburgh published in Nature Communications online Tuesday, unveiled that the South African cornmeal and bean diet lessen the risk factors for colon cancer, comprising variations in gut flora and decrease in the swelling of the colon’s mucosa in the American cluster, while the American diet remarkably increased the Africans’ risk dynamics for colon cancer.
The study, which involved an international research team, endorses that indeed dietary fiber reduces inflammation and prohibits secondary bile in the colon, cutting the risk of cancer. The South African diet decreased levels of secondary bile in the colon by 70 %. But that same carcinogenic bile increased in South Africans in the American diet by 400 %, the study established.
The high-fiber plant-based, African diet also raised levels of butyrate, a gut friendly bacteria that reduce inflammation levels and cancer biomarkers.
With only a colon cancer rate of 5 in every 100,000 people, the plant-based South African diet is considered instrumental in the nation’s low colon-cancer rate, compared to the African-American colon cancer rate of 65 in every 100,000, a rate 13 times greater.
All of the 40 respondents were given food in a measured amount and conducted biopsies of colon mucosa before and after the study. Everyone of the 40 participants also undertook colonoscopies, with regular test for healthy and colon cancer biomarkers in their feces and urine.
Though the study was not long enough to result to alterations in cholesterol and blood pressure levels, lead author Stephen J.D. O’Keefe said, a Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition in Pitt’s School of Medicine doctor.
While studies such as these does not really change our eating habits, “our best hope is that it will open eyes to other possibilities, and point to the fact that a high-fiber diet is not difficult to follow and is well tolerated. It is enjoyable to eat good food,” O’Keefe said.