According to a new research, Atkins diet-low carbohydrate diet can increase the risks of bowel cancer. The research has discovered a decline in the production of a fatty acid in the gut, due to the consumption of carbohydrates.
The fatty acid butyrate, which protects against colorectal cancer, is produced by bacteria and helps in fighting cancerous cells. Researchers from the Rowett Research Institute, in Aberdeen, found that the widely practised Atkins Diet -can lead to four time reduction in the cancer-fighting bacteria.
"In the long run, it is possible that such diets could contribute to colorectal cancer. It is a preventable disease, and there is evidence that poor diet can increase your risk," Telegraph quoted Prof Harry Flint, who led the research, as saying.
The study conducted on 19 obese men, participants were given three diets with varied levels of carbohydrate- high, medium and low. The men on high carbohydrate diet consumed 400 gms of carbohydrate daily.
Men in the low carbohydrate consumption group consumed only 24 gms a day which is a normal amount in low-carbohydrate diets. Participants in the low group had a four-fold drop in the level of the cancer-fighting bacteria.
"The changes in butyrate production that we observed in this study are the largest ever reported in a human dietary trial," Flint said. Flint also said that a similar study on women is likely to show the same results.