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December 14, 2005

Dietary Fiber and Colorectal CancerAn Ongoing Saga

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Dartmouth Medical School, Lenanon, NH.

JAMA. 2005;294(22):2904-2906. doi:10.1001/jama.294.22.2904

Dietary fiber has had a long and complicated relationship with colorectal cancer. The idea that intake of fiber might protect against this malignancy dates back at least to the late 1960s, when Burkitt1 proposed that the low rates of colorectal cancer he observed in southern Africa (as well as the low rates of appendicitis, diverticular disease, and colorectal adenomas) were related to high-fiber intake. Subsequently, hemorrhoids, constipation, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes have been added to the list of problems that may be prevented by dietary fiber intake.

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