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Trans fats

A Real Killer: Trans Fat Causes Colon Cancer

Monday, March 30, 2009 by: Elizabeth Walling
Tags: trans fats, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Trans fat is now linked with yet another troubling health concern: colon cancer. Recent studies are showing people who consume the most trans fat increase their risk of colon cancer by a staggering 86 percent. These findings are highly relevant considering that colon cancer is among the top three cancers affecting modern society.

A 2008 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found the more trans fat a person eats, the more pre-cancerous polyps occur in their colon. The 12-week study included 622 North Carolina residents who had colonoscopies in 2001 and 2002. Participants in the study were questioned in detail about their diet and level of physical activity. Those who consumed the most trans fat--averaging about 6.5 grams per day--were most likely to have increased colon polyps.

Dr. Lisa C. Vinikoor of the University of North Carolina says the reason trans fat increases the risk of colon cancer is because it alters the balance of bile in the colon. She also says, "These results provide further support for recommendations to limit consumption of trans-fatty acids."

Trans fat is only found in trace amounts in some natural foods. But today large amounts of these dangerous fatty acids are formed when vegetable oils are processed using techniques like hydrogenation. This process is used to prolong the shelf life of foods like cookies and cakes, and also to economically imitate the texture of saturated fats in foods like margarine. The convenience comes at an enormous cost. Trans fat has now been strongly linked to increased risk of heart disease, breast cancer, infertility and many other health problems - and now colon cancer is added to the list.

Even with evidence such as this, trans fatty foods line grocery store shelves and fill restaurant kitchens. Because of loopholes in regulations, even foods that claim to have no trans fat often have hydrogenated oil in the ingredients list, which means you could be getting up to half a gram of trans fat per serving. Add up a few servings each day and you can easily consume amounts that put your health at risk.

The connection between trans fat and colon cancer is just about as obvious as the one between smoking and lung cancer. Yet, while huge numbers of people are actively trying to reduce their tobacco use, the news about trans fat seems to have less of an impact. Perhaps it's because it's easier to ignore trans fat consumption. After all, you can easily tell whether or not you're puffing away on a cigarette. Trans fat is more elusive; we can't necessarily tell when we are eating foods filled with hydrogenated oil. And when we eat these foods, it is often for the pleasure of taste, so we fail to make the connection between what is going in our mouths and what it is doing to our bodies.

Studies like these make it clear: the more trans fat you eat, the more likely you are to develop life-altering health issues. Until the commercial food industry makes some drastic changes, each time you polish off another fast food burger and fries you are increasing your risk for cancer.

It's time to take a step back and think about the foods we are eating. The choices we make today will surely affect the future of our foods. By making better choices when we shop for groceries and eat out at restaurants, we send a direct message to the food industry that we will no longer tolerate foods that compromise our health.





About the author

Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more:

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