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Reged: 12/09/02
Posts: 7677
Loc: Seattle, WA
Starchy foods cut bowel cancer risk
      05/02/12 10:34 AM

Starchy foods cut bowel cancer risk

by: Sheradyn Holderhead
From: The Advertiser
April 25, 2012 11:00PM

EATING more corn, lentils, peas, beans and other legumes can reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer, research shows.

These foods are high in resistant starch, a type of fibre that cannot be digested and instead passes through to the bowel where it is fermented - which tends to be lacking in the Australian diet.

CSIRO Food Futures Flagship Dr David Topping said even though Australians eat more dietary fibre than many other western countries, bowel cancer was still the second most commonly reported cancer - what he called the "Australian paradox".

"We have been trying to find out why Australians aren't showing a reduction in bowel cancer rates and we think the answer is that we don't eat enough resistant starch, which is one of the major components of dietary fibre," Dr Topping said of the findings published in the latest issue of The Journal of Nutrition.

"We studied various sources of resistant starch, including corn and wheat, and the results suggest they could all protect against DNA damage in the colon, which is what can cause cancer."

Resistant starch is sometimes called the third type of dietary fibre and is found in legumes, some wholegrain breads and cereals, firm bananas and cooked potatoes, pasta and rice.

The recommended daily intake of resistant starch is about 20g - equivalent to three cups of cooked lentils - almost four times more than the amount consumed in a typical Western diet.

CSIRO Preventive Health Flagship colorectal cancer researcher Dr Trevor Lockett said they had been able to develop a strain of wheat with increased levels of resistant starch.

"If this is introduced to grains grown popularly then there will be an additional set of grains with high levels of resistant starch in commonly consumed foods," he said. "Having a wheat high in resistant starch greatly expands the opportunity for people to eat it because it can be used in bread and other baked goods so more people will be increasing their intake and realising the health benefits.

"It takes about 15 years from the first bowel cancer-initiating DNA damage to full-blown cancer, so the earlier we improve our diets the better."

Heather is the Administrator of the IBS Message Boards. She’s the author of Eating for IBS and The First Year: IBS, and the CEO of Heather's Tummy Care. Join her IBS Newsletter. Meet Heather on Facebook!

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