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Dietary Fiber pp 389-401 | Cite as

Influence of Soluble Fibers on Experimental Colon Carcinogenesis

  • Lucien R. Jacobs

Abstract

The original fiber hypothesis of Burkitt (1971) proposed that a high consumption of fiber-containing foods is associated with a lower frequency of large bowel cancer. Although this association still seems valid, the mechanisms by which fiber-containing foods produce such an effect remain unclear. Furthermore, definitive clinical trials in humans to demonstrate the cancer-prevention properties of dietary fiber have yet to be successfully completed. In the meanwhile we have only the results from retrospective, correlation, and case-control studies in humans and controlled prospective studies in animals. In a recent review of the literature (Jacobs, 1988), I found that 62% of correlational and 48% of case-control studies showed evidence of a protective effect of dietary fiber. Moreover, out of the 11 case-control studies showing a protective effect, eight reports found vegetables to be the protective fiber-containing food. This suggests that not all fiber-containing foods are equally protective and that vegetables may be protective because of some ingredient they contain other than fiber. A further possible explanation is that not all forms of dietary fiber have a similar effect on colon carcinogenesis. Recent advances in the chemical analysis of dietary fibers and in our knowledge of the effects of fibers on gastrointestinal physiology have permitted a reanalysis of the fiber and cancer literature according to the physiochemical properties of individual fibers.

Keywords

Bile Acid Dietary Fiber Wheat Bran Colon Carcinogenesis Soluble Fiber 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucien R. Jacobs
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Section of Nutrition, Division of GastroenterologyCedars-Sinai Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA

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