A new study by Douglas J. Robertson, M.D., M.PH, of Dartmouth Medical School, and colleagues, published in the December issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology says that eating a lot of chicken can reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.
The exact reason for this is not very clear, but the researchers speculate that this could be linked to adequate amounts of selenium and calcium present in chicken. Another reason could be that chicken eaters seem to consume lesser amounts of processed meat, which has been previously linked to colon cancer. The study found that chicken eaters had a 21 percent lower risk of developing adenomas than non-chicken eaters. It is to be noted that adenomas are the pre-cursors of full blown colon cancer. This risk lowered to 39 percent for advanced adenomas in chicken eaters.
Researchers arrived at this conclusion after tracking the data on 1,520 volunteers who underwent repeated colonoscopies in two separate clinical trials. "While greater intake of chicken was associated with a reduction in adenoma formation, and processed meats were related to an increased risk, more general measures of red and white meat intake were not significantly associated with [colon cancer risk]," Robertson and colleagues wrote in the journal. "We also did not see a deleterious effect associated with a diet high in fat or red meat."
The study also found no link between increased at intake and colon cancer risk. Eating red meat was also not clearly linked to colon cancer. The researchers also said that they did not find a decreased threat of colon cancer in people who ate large amounts of fish.
SOURCE: Robertson, D.J. American Journal of Gastroenterology, December 2005; vol 100: pp 2789-2795.