Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 1995 Aug; 115(18): 2252-6.
[Influence of the diet on cell proliferation in the large bowel and the rectum. Does a strict vegetarian diet reduct the risk of intestinal cancer?]
Institutt for ernaeringsforskning, Universitetet i Oslo.
Colorectal cancers are the most frequent cancer in Norway for men and women combined. Several theories have been suggested as etiological explanations. In this review the influence of dietary factors on the cell proliferation rate has been evaluated. A higher cell proliferation rate is statistically associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer. Foods associated with a lower cell proliferation rate match the staple foods in parts of the world were the incidence of colorectal cancer is low. Vegetarians show a low rate of cell proliferation, and low incidence of colorectal cancer. The low incidence of colorectal cancer among vegetarians may be due not only to the lack of animal foods, but also to several other healthy lifestyle habits. We conclude that a well planned lacto-vegetarian diet or a mixed diet with abundant amounts of vegetables and fruits is beneficial as regards the rate of cell proliferation, and most likely also reduces the risk of developing colorectal cancer.