This study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine 2000 Apr 20;342(16):1149-55
Study title and authors:
Lack of effect of a low-fat, high-fiber diet on the recurrence of colorectal adenomas. Polyp Prevention Trial Study Group.
Schatzkin A, Lanza E, Corle D, Lance P, Iber F, Caan B, Shike M, Weissfeld J, Burt R, Cooper MR, Kikendall JW, Cahill J.
National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA.
This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10770979
This study investigated the association between fat and fibre consumption and the development of recurrent colorectal adenomas, which are precursors of most large-bowel cancers. The study lasted for four years and included 1,905 patients who were at least 35 years old and who had had one or more confirmed colorectal adenomas removed. All patients had no history of colorectal cancer.
The patients were assigned into two groups and advised to either:
(i) Lower their fat consumption to 20% of daily calories and up their fibre consumption to 18 grams per 1000 calories. (Lower fat, higher fibre group).
(ii) Carry on with their normal diet (fat consumption of 34% and fibre consumption of 10 grams per 1000 calories). (Higher fat, lower fibre group).
The study found:
(a) Both groups had similar rates of at least one recurrent adenoma although the incidence in the lower fat, higher fibre group was .2% more than the higher fat, lower fibre group.
(b) The lower fat, higher fibre group had a 150% increased risk of developing colorectal cancer compared to the higher fat, lower fibre group.
The data from the study shows that patients with colorectal adenomas have an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer if they follow a low fat, high fibre diet.