Lifestyle Change Reduces Colorectal Cancer Risk for Those at High Genetic Risk (Food)

People at high genetic risk for colorectal cancer can reduce their risk by 40% with reduced red and processed meat consumption and increased fruit and vegetable intake, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers compared lifestyle scores with cancer incidence rates for 346,297 participants from the UK Biobank cohort and grouped participants into healthy, unhealthy, and intermediate groups based on American Cancer Society guidelines. Those with healthier lifestyle scores reduced their risk for cancer when compared to those with lower scores, and the risk reduction was most evident among those with a high genetic risk for cancer. Healthier lifestyles are associated with higher intakes of plant-based foods and reduced body weight, limited alcohol consumption, and other behaviors linked to cancer risk. These results support lifestyle modifications as effective toward cancer prevention.


Choi J, Jia G, Wen W, Shu XO, Zheng W. Healthy lifestyles, genetic modifiers, and colorectal cancer risk: a prospective cohort study in the UK Biobank. Am J Clin Nutr. 2021;113(4):810-820. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqaa404s

Provided by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

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