Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature. Over 15,000 daily subscribers. Over 6,000 archived posts.

New Study: A Traditional African Diet Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer


Eating corn, vegetables, fruit, and legumes instead of meat and dairy prevents colorectal cancer, according to a new study published in The Journal of Nutrition.

African-Americans suffer a higher incidence of colorectal cancer than do other ethnic groups. African-Americans also develop the disease at an earlier age. However, the disease is almost unheard of in most of sub-sahara Africa. New research shows that eating a traditional African diet, high in plant foods and low in meat and dairy, decreases the risk dramatically.

Researchers tracked the typical diets of 20 African-American men and 20 African men for two weeks and monitored cancer incidence rates. For an additional two weeks, each group participated in an inverted intervention whereby the African-American group ate a largely African diet (high in fiber and low in fat) while the African group increased their consumption of animal products and fat intake.

Results showed that the low-fat, high-fiber diet centered on corn-based products, vegetables, fruit, and legumes decreased the risk factors for cancer in the African-American group, while the African group was at a greater risk after just two weeks.

Researchers suspect changes in animal protein and carbohydrate consumption and changes in gut bacteria due to a shift in diet as potential causes for fluctuations in inflammation. This study hopes to lend credence to dietary interventions as treatment and prevention for cancer.


O’Keefe SJ, Li JV, Lahti L, et al. Fat, fibre and cancer risk in African Americans and rural Africans. Nat Commun. 2015;6:6342.

Agrawal S, et al. Colorectal Cancer in African Americans,The American Journal of Gastroenterology (2005) 100, 515–523; doi:10.1111/j.1572-0241.2005.41829.x.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enter your email address to follow Vox Populi and receive new posts by email.

Join 15,180 other subscribers

Blog Stats

  • 4,617,674 hits


%d bloggers like this: