For years, researchers have examined which nutritional interventions might reduce the risk of developing CRC, and have found that red or processed meat is one of the biggest culprits in increasing the risk of developing CRC. According to a new study, vitamin-, mineral-, and nitrate-rich green leafy vegetables are the best substitution for red or processed meats to mitigate CRC risk, as told by a 12-week dietary intervention.
“The most recent global estimates of cancer incidence and mortality place colorectal cancer as the fourth most prevalent and second deadliest cancer worldwide,” the authors of the study wrote. “The high-meat, low-vegetable “Western” dietary pattern is most common in developed and developing countries and is directly associated with CRC risk, with a recent meta-analysis of 28 studies indicating a 30% increased risk of CRC for adults consuming this dietary pattern.”
In the trial, conducted by researchers at the University of Alabama, published in the journal Nutrients, researchers posited that green leafy vegetables might reduce the risk of red meat-induced colonic DNA damage, in turn reducing the risk of CRC.
50 participants were recruited and enrolled in the 12-week trial, and were randomized into either a control group or a group in which participants had to consume one cup of cooked green leafy vegetables daily, without altering any other elements of their diet, including red meat consumption. After four weeks, the intervention group was instructed to return to their normal diet for the remaining eight weeks. The eligibility for this study was participants who had a high BMI and high habitual red meat consumption, two of the most well-known risk factors for CRC.
During the trial, researchers assessed participants over four study visits, including anthropometrics, stool samples, and blood samples. Researchers found that, overall, the intervention group saw an increase in plasma vitamin K1 concentrations, with a decrease in both circulating and fecal 8OHdG (a critical biomarker of DNA oxidative damage) and TNFa (Tumor necrosis factor a), a cytokine used by the immune system which suggests inflammatory damage.
“This is the first trial to assess the effects of a dietary intervention high in GLV (green leafy vegetables) in adults with elevated BMI and high habitual RM consumption who are at increased risk for CRC,” the authors said. These effects, in addition to vitamin K1 increases and systemic inflammation reduction, were especially pronounced in five participants who immediately began high green leafy vegetable consumption even during the control period when they were instructed to resume their normal diets.
Mike Montemarano has been the Associate Editor of Nutraceuticals World since February 2020. He can be reached at email@example.com.