Colon cancer: increased risk when consuming ultra-processed foods – Medical Writing

Example of ultra-processed foods. The scientific community continues to demonstrate the importance of choosing the type of food we eat well to reduce the appearance of chronic diseases such as diabetes or obesity. More and more research is showing the links between unhealthy foods and diseases derived from their consumption. In that sense, a recent observational study ensures that the consumption of ultra-processed foods increases the risk of colon cancer by almost 30 percent. A link that occurs only in men. In the study, reviewed by peers and published in the journal BJM, researchers from Tufts University and Harvard studied three large US cohorts with more than 200,000 people. After subjecting participants to weekly tests for 25 years, they found that men who ate high rates of ultra-processed foods had a 29 percent higher risk of developing colon cancer than men who ate smaller amounts of these foods. , the association was seen in distal colon cancer and not in proximal or rectal cancer. In addition, the strongest link was found with meat, poultry or fish-based ready-to-eat products and with soft drinks or sweetened milk-based beverages. An “independent” effect

Some findings that, according to the researchers, are independent of the “different dietary indices”. In other words, its effect is not linked to the other risk factors and depends on other variables derived from the effect of its consumption on our body. “Ultra-processed foods often contain food additives, such as emulsifiers and artificial sweeteners, which can alter the gut microbiota and promote inflammation and colon carcinogenesis. In addition to additives, newly formed contaminants with carcinogenic potential (eg acrylamide) are found in various ultra-processed products that have undergone heat treatment, especially potato chips. Ultra-processed foods may also contain contaminants that migrate from plastic packaging, such as bisphenol A, which the European Chemicals Agency considers a substance of great concern. Why is there no effect of ultra-processed foods on women?

Regarding the lack of link between the consumption of ultra-processed foods and colon cancer in women, the scientists admit that “it is not clear” why this difference with respect to men and point to an influence of hormones, the protective function estrogen or a different diet. “Women may have made relatively healthier food choices within the yoghurt- and dairy-based dessert category, and thus the protective effects (for example, due to higher calcium) can overcome the harmful effects (due to higher sugar content)”, the researchers detail. Given this lack of evidence, they believe further research is needed to determine if there is a true sex difference in the associations, or if the null findings in the women in this study were simply due to chance or some other uncontrolled confounding in the study. women who mitigated the association. Although it may contain statements, data or notes from health institutions or professionals, the information contained in Medical Writing is edited and prepared by journalists. We recommend the reader that any questions related to health be consulted with a health professional.