WAGENINGEN, THE NETHERLANDS – A high intake of dietary fiber, particularly from cereal and whole grains, was associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer in a systematic review and meta-analysis that appeared-online Nov. 10 in the British Medical Journal. Researchers from Wageningen University, Imperial College in London and the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom analyzed 25 studies. Their results indicated a 10% reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer for each 10-gram daily intake of total dietary fiber and cereal fiber and about a 20% reduction for daily intake of three servings of whole grains.

“These findings thus have important health implications,” the researchers said. “Our results provide further support for public health recommendations to increase the intake of dietary fiber in the prevention of colorectal cancer.”

The researchers found no significant evidence for an association between the risk of colorectal cancer and the intake of fiber from fruit, vegetables or legumes. They said further studies should report more detailed results, including those for subtypes of fiber.