Dietary Cholesterol Associated with Increased Cancer Risk

A study published in Annals of Oncology found that dietary cholesterol (found only in animal-based foods, like meat and dairy products) was associated with an increased risk of cancer.

Researchers at the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Public Health Agency of Canada mailed questionnaires to thousands of men and women with various types of cancers and controls without cancer, asking about their eating habits two years prior to the study to evaluate the amount of cholesterol they consumed.

The researchers found that cholesterol intake was associated with elevated risk of breast cancer(specifically postmenopausal women), and cancers of the stomach, colon, rectum, pancreas, lung, breast cancer , testis, kidney, bladder and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. People who had the highest intake of cholesterol were 40 to 70 percent more likely to develop these cancers as compared to people with the lowest consumption of cholesterol.

The authors write, “Our findings add to the evidence that high cholesterol intake is linked to increased risk of various cancers. A diet low in cholesterol may play a role in the prevention of several cancers.”

American Cancer Society Issues Diet and Exercise Guidelines for Cancer Survivors

Yesterday the American Cancer Society (ACS) published formal guidelines for cancer survivors focusing on the health benefits of maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet.

The “Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines for Cancer Survivors” are based on data from over 100 studies released since 2006. The ACS says that there is strong evidence that a healthy diet and exercise may prevent cancer from coming back. The guidelines,  published online in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, urge physicians to talk to their patients about these issues.

They key recommendations are:

  • Get regular aerobic and resistance exercise
  • Eat a diet low in red meat and saturated fats, and high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Use other weight-management strategies, such as portion control, to reach and maintain a healthy weight

Click here to read the complete published guidelines. Click here to read a a news article summarizing the guidelines.