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Originally published June 9 2008

Whole Grains Cut Risk of Pancreatic Cancer by 40 Percent

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Eating a diet high in whole grains and other fiber-rich foods can drastically lower a person's risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of California at San Francisco and published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

"There is a possibility that diet can affect one's risk of pancreatic, as well as other cancers," researcher June M. Chan said, "and that eating a diet rich in a wide variety of grains is likely to not only help in the prevention of diabetes and heart disease, but also this very deadly cancer."

Researchers examined grain intake among 2,233 Bay Area residents, 532 of whom had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The age, body weight and gender distributions were similar among those who did and did not have cancer, but the cancer patients were more likely to be smokers.

The researchers found that those who ate two or more servings of whole grains per day had a 40 percent lower risk of developing pancreatic cancer than those who ate less than one serving daily. Similarly, those who ate 26.5 grams or more of fiber daily had a 35 percent lower risk of contracting pancreatic cancer than those who ate 15.6 grams or less.

Those who ate two or more servings per week of donuts or cooked breakfast cereals had a higher risk of pancreatic cancer than those who ate less than one serving per month. The researchers speculated that their inability to distinguish between sweetened or instant and whole grain breakfast cereals might have been responsible for this finding.

"The risk reductions associated with some whole grain foods and fiber provide general support for the hypothesis that whole grains are better than more refined and sweetened grains for pancreatic cancer prevention," Chan said.

Each year, 33,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The five-year survival rate for the disease is less than 5 percent.

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