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Certain dietary patterns may increase levels of molecule tied to increased risk of receiving a positive colon cancer test, according to a new study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research.
A team of investigators from Simmons College administered dietary questionnaires to a group of women and tracked their health for 22 years. The results showed that those who ate larger quantities of red meat, fish and sugar-sweetened beverages, and consumed less coffee, whole grains and high-fat dairy had significantly higher levels of C-peptide, a compound known to increase cancer risk.
Those who ate this type of diet were shown to be 35 percent more likely to develop colorectal cancer during the study period.
The researchers said that C-peptide is known to be associated with insulin resistance, and that this condition has been shown to increase the risk of colon cancer. This may explain the association between the diet described in the study and the results.
"This research has helped us to put together a fuller picture of what may be going on in terms of mechanisms and the relationship between food and colorectal cancer risk," said lead researcher Teresa Fung.
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