Intake of dietary fiber, especially from cereal foods, is associated with lower incidence of colon cancer in the HELGA cohort

International Journal of Cancer, 04/20/2012

Hansen L et al. – The data indicate a protective role of total and cereal fiber intake, particularly from cereal foods with high fiber content, in the prevention of colon cancer.


  • The authors included 1,168 incident cases (691 colon, 477 rectal cancer), diagnosed during a median of 11.3years, among 108,081 cohort members.
  • Sex-specific incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of colon and rectal cancer were related to intake of total or specific fiber source using Cox proportional hazards models.


  • For men, an inverse association was observed between intake of total fiber and the risk of colon cancer per an incremental increase of 10g day-1, IRR (95% CI): 0.74 (0.64-0.86).
  • Intake of cereal fiber per 2gday-1 was associated with an IRR of 0.94 (0.91-0.98), which was also seen for intake of cereal fiber from foods with high fiber content (≥5g per 100g product), where the IRR per 2gday-1 was 0.94 (0.90-0.98).
  • In women, intake of cereal fiber per 2gday-1 was also associated with lower risk of colon cancer, 0.97 (0.93-1.00).
  • No clear associations were seen for rectal cancer.

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