An observational study from the University of Washington, US, suggests that there is a link between high consumption of yogurt and lower risk of bowel cancer (adenoma) in men.
The study tracked more than 32,000 men for twenty-five years and found that those men who ate at least two portions of yogurt per week were 19 per cent less likely to develop precancerous growths in the bowel than men who ate no yogurt at all.
Study authors hypothesize about the reasons why yogurt may have these properties: “Products of the two common probiotics used in yogurt, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, may reduce levels of carcinogens such as nitroreductase, fecal activated bacterial enzymes, and soluble fecal bile acids.”
A large study suggests that even moderate consumption of ham, bacon, and red meat may increase the risk of bowel cancer.
For the study, researchers led by the scientists from the University of Oxford followed about 500,000 people for nearly six years and found that those who ate aforementioned foods more than it was recommended by NHS guidelines, 70 g a day, had a fifth higher risk of developing bowel cancer compared to people who ate smaller portions.
Professor Tim Key, a co-author of the study and deputy director at the University of Oxford’s cancer epidemiology unit, says: “Most previous research looked at people in the 1990s or earlier and diets have changed significantly since then. So our study gives a more up-to-date insight that is relevant to meat consumption today.”