Solving a Colon Cancer Mystery

NutritionFacts .org
NutritionFacts .org
08 Nov 2020

Even though modern African diets may now be as miserably low in fiber as American diets, Africans still appear to have 50 times less colorectal cancer than Americans, our second leading cancer killer.

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I’ve previously suggested phytates may play a critical role as well (Phytates for the Prevention of Cancer Resistant starch may be another player, since they cool down their corn porridge, and some of the starch can crystallize and effectively turn into fiber (the same reason why pasta salad and potato salad better feed our gut bacteria than starchy dishes served hot). I touch on it briefly in Bowel Wars: Hydrogen Sulfide vs. Butyrate ( but I have a lot more on resistant starch coming up. Resistant starch may also help explain Beans and the Second Meal Effect (

Fiber may just be a marker for healthier eating since it’s only found concentrated in unprocessed plant foods. So the apparent protection afforded by high fiber diets may derive from whole food plant-based nutrition rather than the fiber itself (so fiber supplements would not be expected to provide the same protection).

Here’s some videos that found protective associations with higher fiber diets:
• Fiber vs. Breast Cancer (
• Prostate Cancer Survival: The A/V Ratio (
• Dr. Burkitt’s F-Word Diet (
• How Fiber Lowers Cholesterol (
• Breast Cancer and Constipation (
• How to Prevent a Stroke (

What might be in animal products that can raise cancer risk? Here’s a smattering:
• Phytates for the Prevention of Cancer ( (heme iron)
• Reducing Cancer Risk In Meateaters ( (heterocyclic amines)
• Carnitine, Choline, Cancer and Cholesterol: The TMAO Connection (
• Prevent Cancer From Going on TOR (

Have a question for Dr. Greger about this video? Leave it in the comment section at and he'll try to answer it!

Image Credit: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center via Flickr.
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