High fibre, yogurt consumption could help lower lung cancer risk

Health News — A diet high in fibre and yogurt is associated with a reduced risk for lung cancer, according to a new analysis. The benefits of a diet high in fibre and yogurt have already been established for cardiovascular disease and gastrointestinal cancer. These new findings published in JAMA Oncology and 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 fibre and yogurt they consumed. Those with the highest yogurt and fibre consumption had a 33% reduced lung cancer risk as compared to the group who did not consume yogurt and consumed the least amount of fibre.

“Our study provides strong evidence supporting the US 2015-2020 Dietary Guideline recommending a high fibre and yogurt diet,” said senior author Xiao-Ou Shu, MD, PhD, 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.

The association, she said, was “robust”, consistently across current, past and never smokers, as well as men, women and individuals with different ethnic backgrounds.

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