Fiber and Yogurt Found To Reduce Lung Cancer Risk

A diet high in fiber could dramatically lower your risk of lung cancer, a new study says. These results are actually just the most recent set of data from a growing body of research investigating the health benefits that are associated with eating fiber and yogurt, and especially what type of positive changes these things can encourage in terms of gut health. 

You may not be aware of this but yogurt is a fermented food product—much like kimchee, sauerkraut, and kombucha—and that means it contains a large number of beneficial bacteria (probiotics).  Dietary fiber, on the other hand, helps to fuel the healthy gut bacteria.  This suggests, then, that regular consumption of fermented foods and those rich in dietary fiber can result in increased health benefits. 

Specifically, the study analyzed data from a handful of past studies which involve a collective 1.4 million people across Europe, Asia, and the United States.  Distilling these numbers down, then, the researchers assessed that people who ate the largest quantities of dietary fiber and yogurt were at a 33 percent lower risk for lung cancer when compared against those who consumed the lowest quantities. 

Lead study author Xiao-Ou Shu, MD, PhD, MPH comments, “Our study provides strong evidence supporting the US 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guideline recommending a high fiber and yogurt diet.”

The Ingram Professor of Cancer Researcher and associate director for Global Health and co-leader of the Cancer Epidemiology Research Program at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center goes on to say, “This inverse association was robust, consistently seen across current, past and never smokers, as well as men, women, and individuals with different backgrounds.”

Shu also helps to distinguish how these benefits might work. For example, prebiotic properties are nondigestible components of food that encourage the growth of beneficial microorganisms in your intestines.  Probiotic properties, of course, is the name given to live bacteria and yeasts that are of benefit to the human body, and particularly the digestive system. In all, these properties work either independently or synergistically to modulate gut microbiota in a way that benefits the body. 

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