In a U.S. cohort study of 125,455 U.S. participants (141 with HCC) from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, researchers examined if increased intake of whole grains was associated with a reduced risk of HCC. The average follow-up time was 24.2 years.
The study surveyed consumption of whole grains, their subcomponents (bran and germ), and dietary fiber (cereal, fruit, and vegetable).
Results found increased whole grain intake was significantly associated with a lower risk of HCC. Researchers also found a nonsignificant inverse HCC association for total bran, but not for germ. In addition, an increased intake of cereal fiber, but not fruit or vegetable fiber, was associated with a nonsignificant lower risk of HCC.
The review concluded that intake of whole grains and possibly cereal fiber and bran could be associated with reduced risk of HCC among adults in the U.S. Researchers suggested that future studies considering hepatitis B and C virus infections are needed to replicate these findings, and that additional research is needed to examine associations in other racial/ethnic or high-risk populations and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms.