We already knew how important gut health was and the importance of good bacteria in maintaining a good digestive system. But new research has revealed just how little probiotic-rich yoghurt you have to eat to reduce your risk of developing bowel cancer.
According to a new study by the University of Washington, men who ate just two or more servings of yoghurt a week reduced their risk of developing adenoma, polyps found in the bowel that can potentially become cancerous.
The research, which spanned 25 years and included more than 32,000 men, found that males who consumed two portions of yoghurt a week saw 19 per cent fewer growths of adenoma.
Further, they also reduced their likelihood of developing high-risk tumours by 26 per cent.
Interestingly, because the study was observational, researchers couldn't figure out what made yoghurt lower the risk.
However, they suggest the anti-inflammatory properties could be beneficial to preventing gut leaks (undigested food, bacterial toxins or germs escapes through the intestinal wall).
“Our data provide novel evidence for the role of yoghurt in early stage of colorectal cancer development and the potential of gut bacteria in modulating this process," says Researcher Dr. Yin Cao from Washington University.
”The findings, if confirmed by future studies, suggest that yoghurt might serve as a widely acceptable modifiable factor, which could complement colorectal cancer screening and/or reduce risk of adenoma among the unscreened.“
Including a total of of 32,606 men and 55,743 women, participants were asked to describe their lifestyle and dietary habits every four years, including how much yoghurt they ate.
They also all had a lower bowel endoscopy (when doctors take a look inside the gut).
Over the 25 years, 5811 pre-cancerous growths developed in the men compared to 8116 in the women.
Interestingly, the findings suggest that only men benefited from yoghurt intake and there was no link seen in women.
In 2019, there will be 9069 new cases of colorectal cancer in men and approximately 3009 deaths. Colorectal cancer makes up 11 per cent of all cancer-related deaths in Australia.
- Blood in the stool
- Change in bathroom habits
- Change in stool appearance
- Unexplained weight loss or anaemia