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High Fiber Foods, Yogurt, and Lung Cancer

Food is all important for health. A recent study (that analyzed data from 10 large studies in the US, Europe, and Asia) found an association between high fiber intake from foods and also frequent eating of yogurt with a lower incidence of lung cancer. Persons with the highest yogurt and fiber consumption had a 33% reduced risk of lung cancer (when compared to the group who did not consume yogurt and consumed the least amount of fiber).

Think of it this way: The fiber in foods feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut. High fiber foods that feed microbes in the gut are known as prebiotics. It is good to eat a variety of foods, because they provide a variety of fibers. High fiber foods are whole grains, fruits, vegetables, seed, nuts, and legumes (beans).

Gut microbes use fiber to generate short-chain fatty acids, and these are anti-inflammatory. Evidence suggests that the beneficial effects are not restricted to the gut, but reach organs throughout the body, including the lungs. The researchers suggest that both fiber and yogurt have anti-inflammatory effects, and the combination of fiber and yogurt is stronger against lung cancer than either alone. They also thought that the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species in yogurt somehow help improve the gut microbial system.

From Medical Xpress:  High fiber, yogurt diet associated with lower lung cancer risk 

A diet high in fiber and yogurt is associated with a reduced risk for lung cancer, according to a study by Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers published in JAMA Oncology.

The benefits of a diet high in fiber and yogurt have already been established for cardiovascular disease and gastrointestinal cancer. The new findings based on an analysis of data from studies involving 1.4 million adults in the United States, Europe and Asia suggest this diet may also protect against lung cancer.

Participants were divided into five groups, according to the amount of fiber and yogurt they consumed. Those with the highest yogurt and fiber consumption had a 33% reduced lung cancer risk as compared to the group who did not consume yogurt and consumed the least amount of fiber.

"Our study provides strong evidence supporting the U.S. 2015-2020 Dietary Guideline recommending a high fiber and yogurt diet," said senior author Xiao-Ou Shu, MD, Ph.D., MPH, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, associate director for Global Health and co-leader of the Cancer Epidemiology Research Program at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

"This inverse association was robust, consistently seen across current, past and never smokers, as well as men, women and individuals with different backgrounds," she added.

Shu said the health benefits may be rooted in their prebiotic (nondigestible food that promotes growth of beneficial microorganisms in the intestines) and probiotic properties. The properties may independently or synergistically modulate gut microbiota in a beneficial way.

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