In a new meta-analysis looking at the impact of diet on colon cancer risk, researchers dragged out all the usual suspects: red meat, dairy, and alcohol.
The problem is, the facts of their case just don’t add up.
In fact, we’re better off dismissing their clearly biased conclusions…and sticking with five time-tested and science-backed ways to reduce colon cancer risk, safely and naturally.
So, I’ll share those tips with you in just a moment.
But first, let’s take a closer look at where exactly their argument falls short…
Poor design and clear bias plague new analysis
For this new analysis of 45 previously published studies, the researchers looked at the effect of 109 different dietary factors on colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. And they found “convincing” evidence for a few factors…
First, they noted “convincing” evidence of increased CRC risk among people who consumed more red meat compared to those who consumed less of it.
But this study suffers from the fatal flaw of lumping healthy, unprocessed red meat (like lamb) together with unhealthy, processed meat (like hot dogs). And remember, studies that distinguish between the two types of meat always show that processed meat poses the problem…not natural, unprocessed red meat.
Plus, later in the “discussion” part of their report, the researchers admitted that they “did not find convincing evidence to support limiting consumption of processed meat for CRC prevention…its credibility was suggestive.”
So, which is it—“convincing” or “suggestive” evidence on red meat and/or processed meat?
I would say neither.
Because an even bigger, better designed meta-analysis involving four million people from 61 previously published studies found no evidence to suggest that eating red meat—or even processed meat—raises disease risk in any way!
Second, the researchers looked at the effect of alcohol consumption on CRC risk. Here again, they said they found “convincing” evidence that consuming five or more drinks per day increased CRC risk. So, they recommended abstaining from alcohol completely as a way to reduce risk.
But remember—five drinks or more a day goes well beyond any moderate consumption. (And, in my view, it likely indicates a potential alcohol abuse problem.)
By comparison, there wasn’t a speck of convincing evidence for harm from consuming just one to two drinks per day. Not to mention, a wealth of previously published studies show major health benefits from enjoying this moderate amount!
The third factor the researchers considered was total dairy intake…
The analysis showed a direct link between higher intake of all dairy products (including cheese, milk, and yogurt) and a significant reduction in CRC risk.
But despite this clear finding, the researchers said that we need more research on the subject. (You mean, more than the findings from 45 previously published studies?!)
Personally, I think they’re the only ones not completely convinced by this finding. And their doubt probably relates to their medical bias…and the simple fact that eating full-fat, whole-milk dairy doesn’t fit their anti-fat narrative. (Although it does fit perfectly with the science.) Now, here’s another interesting point…
The study found that a higher intake of dietary calcium was one of the biggest and most important factors to protect against CRC. But if these researchers don’t recommend eating full-fat, whole-milk dairy (or any red meat), then just where do they think all that precious dietary calcium will come from?!
Especially given the fact that you should NEVER supplement with calcium, as we know these supplements can cause all sorts of health problems, including hardening of the arteries.
Five safe, effective ways to slash colon cancer risk
In the end, these researchers didn’t seem have a good understanding of their own findings…much less how to interpret them. And that’s always a bad sign!
So, as I suggested earlier, we should all just stick with what we know about the five, simple, science-backed ways to reducing colon cancer risk:
1.) Take a daily, high-quality B vitamin supplement. In another meta-analysis, there was a strong reduction in CRC risk among those who took folic acid (part of the B family of vitamins). As always, I recommend you take a daily, high-quality B vitamin complex—which contains all eight B vitamins, not just folic acid.
2.) Enjoy full-fat dairy every day. Eating dairy also appeared to lower colon cancer risk by up to 19 percent. And since you should only get your calcium through your diet—not through supplements—I recommend adding three daily servings of full-fat, whole-milk dairy to your healthy, balanced, Mediterranean-type diet.
3.) Consider a daily aspirin. In that same meta-analysis, men and women who took a daily, low-dose aspirin (75 mg per day, as widely taken to prevent heart disease) had a 14 percent lower CRC risk. And those who took a higher dose of 325 mg per day had a 29 percent lower risk!
As you know, aspirin gets a pass from me because it’s an inexpensive, over-the-counter (OTC), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that’s been safely used by millions and millions of Americans for more than a century. Plus, it originally derives from a natural ingredient called salicylic acid in white willow bark and meadowsweet grass, which Native Americans used to combat pain and other common ailments.
Of course, big pharma and some “experts” try to discredit aspirin because it may cause gastrointestinal (GI) irritation and bleeding. But when taken properly, aspirin has a very low risk of bleeding—for most people. (Talk to your doctor about whether taking a daily aspirin may be right for you.)
4.) Be choosey about fiber. That same meta-analysis also showed an association between dietary fiber and up to a 43 percent lower colon cancer risk. But as I reported in the very first issue of my monthly Insiders’ Cures newsletter (“Dietary fiber: Cancer cause or cure?”), the guidelines on fiber are complicated. (If you’re not yet a newsletter subscriber, click here to become one.)
Generally speaking, the fiber in fresh produce is healthier than fiber in grains (which can actually be dangerous for GI health and colon cancer risk). It’s an important distinction not known or understood by mainstream doctors or most “natural-know-it-alls.” So—skip the artificial fiber supplements or fake granola bars with added fiber. Instead, choose the items up next on the list…
5.) Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. The biggest protection against colon cancer…at a staggering 52 percent lower risk…came from consuming more fruits and vegetables. Of course, there was no guidance given for how many servings a day you need to consume to gain the benefit. But as always, I simply advise enjoying five servings per day of fresh, organic produce.
In addition to following these five sensible guidelines, you have dozens of other safe, natural alternatives to help prevent, detect, AND treat colon cancer. I’ve outlined them all in my groundbreaking online learning tool, my Authentic Anti-Cancer Protocol. To learn more, or to enroll today, click here now!
“Confirmed: Diet Influences Colorectal Cancer Risk.” Medscape, 3/4/21. (medscape.com/viewarticle/946865)
“Role of Diet in Colorectal Cancer Incidence: Umbrella Review of Meta-analyses of Prospective Observational Studies.” JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(2):e2037341. doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.37341