Colorectal cancer, diet and benefits of fish (even canned)

A study by the Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacological Research, in collaboration with the University of Milan, highlights the benefits of the Mediterranean diet also at an oncological level

Maria Elena Perrero

“A Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, fruit, legumes and fish, including canned fish, can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, main cancer among non-smoking men and women “: to say a Official Active is Professor Carlo La Vecchia, professor of epidemiology at the University of Milan. Professor La Vecchia collaborated in the study of the Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacological Research which reviewed two very different studies conducted between 1992 and 2010 in various areas of Italy, involving 2,419 patients with colorectal cancer diagnosis and 4,723 tumor-free control cases.

Canned fish against colorectal cancer: the study

“In particular, one of these two studies focused on feeding patients and highlighted how the canned fish is a favorable indicator of one diet able to reduce the incidence of bowel cancer or of colorectal”, Underlined Professor La Vecchia. Away from claim how ‘eating canned fish lowers the risk of bowel cancer’, it is therefore possible to evaluate how this food is healthier than one might think, cataloging it together with other non-fresh foods.

Fish, the benefits of fresh and canned fish

The fresh fish it is generally considered healthier than canned fish, but canned fish can be a good alternative. “It’s not so much the canned fish which reduces the risk, or at least not just canned fish – clarifies the epidemiologist -. But the combined consumption of canned fish, olive oil (another key element of the Mediterranean diet) e vegetables, Since canned fish is often accompanied by vegetable-based side dishes, it makes this complex a favorable indicator of the risk of colorectal cancer “.

Omega 3 from fish against cancer risk

Compared to canned fish, therefore, there are very different foods whose consumption should be drastically reduced within one healthy diet which, among other things, can reduce cancer risk: “The foods that should be limited are those preserved with high content of saturated fats, the carbohydrates with a high glycemic index, like white bread or the potatoes themselves ”, underlines Professor La Vecchia. “The fish, on the contrary, even canned it is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which have shown a favorable effect in reducing the risk of cancer in several studies. There is therefore a reasonable biological assumption: that the consumption of fish is favorable on cancers of the digestive tract, such as that of colorectal“.

Canned fish: the benefits against colorectal cancer (in a healthy diet)

The beneficial effects of a Mediterranean diet that also includes canned fish have been consistently observed in men and women, young and old, Professor La Vecchia pointed out. “This study shows that canned fish, therefore, is a good component of a diet that, as a whole, can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.”

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