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Keep Your Colon Healthy with This Main Course

Keep Your Colon Healthy with This Main Course

To dodge colon cancer, make sure your dinner plate has plenty of room for fish.

Research suggests that the polyunsaturated fats in our fine finned friends may provide a mighty nice buffer against colon cancer.

The fats that protect best
In a study, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids—including eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid—cut colon cancer risk in a big way in Caucasians. And these fats are found in abundance in fish. Interestingly, the short-chain omega-3s that are found in nuts and cereals and are oh-so-good for your heart did not have the same protective benefit. And although both Caucasians and African Americans were included in the research, the results suggest that more studies are needed to confirm if there is a benefit in African Americans as well -- so stay tuned. (But here's something we know cuts colon cancer risk in all people.)

Triple Tthreat to cancer
Why are omega-3 fatty acids in fish such strong adversaries against colon cancer? Both lab and animal studies suggest omega-3s may curb the birth of new cancer cells, hinder tumor growth, and inhibit the spread of tumor cells to other parts of the body. Try these other gut protectors, too:

Did you know?
Too much saturated fat from red meat may increase colon cancer risk. These healthy habits have been associated with a lower risk of colon cancer.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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