Researchers have been working on a paper in the journal JAMA Oncology looking for a relationship between diet and lung cancer. Two types of foods were focussed upon in this study;
Prebiotics support growth of gut bacteria, for example fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts.
Yogurt, which is a probiotic food, contains microorganisms.
The gut and the lungs
Gut bacteria results in lung inflammation. A research was carried out that included more than 1.44 million people from the United States, Europe, and Asia. The amount of yogurt and fiber consumed by the participants was calculated. Other factors like obesity, smoking etc was also taken into account.
An average duration of follow up was 8.6 years. During this time, 18,882 participants were diagnosed with lung cancer. After this, it was concluded that: “Both fiber and yogurt intakes were inversely associated with lung cancer risk.”
People consuming the most fiber had 17% lower risk of developing lung cancer than the ones consuming less fiber.
Similarly, people consuming more yogurt had 19% lower risk of lung cancer than the ones who did not consume yogurt. Even consuming a small amount of yogurt lowers the risk of lung cancer by 15%.
Jointly, people consuming the highest amount of fiber and yogurt had 33% lower risk of lung cancer.
To conclude, the results show the health benefits from fiber and yogurt to protect a person from lung cancer as well as cardiovascular disease and gastrointestinal cancer.
Strengths and limitations
This study is considered important as it included large quantity of data and a wide range of factors in final analysis.
However, there were certain limitations like not having detailed information on the sources of dietary fiber consumed by the participants.
Similarly, they had no information about the type of yogurt, the bacterial strains it contains, or its sugar content.
As with all observational studies, there is a chance that the association is due to factors that the researchers did not account for in their analysis.
They found that the benefits of dietary fiber and yogurt were not significant in black and Asian populations and they believed that might be due to smaller sample sizes of these population.
Although the relationship between gut health and lung health is becoming clearer yet more work is needed to fill in the details. Delving deep into the role of nutrition in chronic diseases is difficult for various reasons. Still there is more research needed in this field to come to the conclusion if there is a direct link between diet and lung cancer especially in context of prebiotic and probiotics.
Do you agree that there is a link between Diet And Lung Cancer?
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