A study shows that a plant-based diet rich in vegetables, nuts, and grains can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in men.

The study found that those who ate the most plant-based foods had a 22% lower risk of colorectal cancer than those who ate the least.

The researchers did not find a link for women. The link is more clear for men who have a higher risk of the disease. Their work was published in the journal.

The risk of developing colorectal cancer over a lifetime is one in 23 for men and one in 25 for women according to the study.

Although previous research suggests that a plant-based diet may play a role in preventing colorectal cancer, the impact of plant foods' nutrition quality on this association has been unclear. Eating a plant-based diet is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.

Alcohol being consumed

The study found that alcohol is linked to more cancer.

People were asked how often they ate certain foods and drinks from a long list. The people were asked about the portion size.

The participants could tick the number of times they ate each food item. Responses ranged from "never or hardly ever" to "four or more times a day".

The food groups were categorized into healthy plant foods, less healthy plant foods, and animal foods.

Kim theorizes that the anti-oxidants found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains could lower colorectal cancer risk by suppressing chronic inflammation.

As men tend to have a higher risk of colorectal cancer than women, we propose that this could explain why eating more plant-based foods was associated with reduced colorectal cancer risk in men but not women.

The researchers divided the daily consumption into quintiles. At the start of the study, men and women were both 60 years old.

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People over the age of 60 are more likely to be diagnosed with the disease.

The link was different by race and ethnicity. White men have a lower risk of cancer than Japanese American men. There needs to be more research done on the differences between ethnicities.

According to Kim, the association between plant-based diet and colorectal cancer risk may have been strongest in Japanese, American and white men. Further research needs to be done to confirm this.

Factors other than diet that were likely to influence the results were taken into account.

The observational nature of the study meant no conclusions could be made about a correlation between plant-based food intake and colorectal cancer risk.