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US-African Diet Swap Reveals Colon Cancer Risk


EXCERPT Doctors have long known that the Western diet, one often high in animal proteins and fat and low in fiber, increases the risk of colon cancer.

In the United States, the second-highest number of cancer deaths is from colon cancer, a malignant tumor in the colon or rectum, the lower part of the human digestive system. African-Americans are at especially high risk for the disease, which experts say is diet-related in more than 90 percent of cases.

A team of international researchers studied what would happen if African-Americans and rural South Africans swapped diets for two weeks. Colon cancer rates are much lower in rural South Africa, where people consume a high-fiber, low-fat diet typical of Africans.