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Can Consumption of Dietary Fiber and Yogurt Lower the Risk of Lung Cancer?

By: Sara Tewksbury
Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Consuming a diet with a high intake of fiber or yogurt may reduce one’s risk of lung cancer, according to a pooled analysis of more than 1.44 million people from the United States, Europe, and Asia. This study—conducted by Jae Jeong Yang, PhD, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville—suggests a potential protective role of prebiotics and probiotics against the development of lung cancer. The results were published in JAMA Oncology.

“Our study provides strong evidence supporting the U.S. 2015–2020 Dietary Guideline recommending a high fiber and yogurt diet,” stated senior study author Xiao-Ou Shu, MD, PhD, MPH, of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, in a Vanderbilt press release. “This inverse association was robust, consistently seen across current, past and never smokers, as well as men, women, and individuals with different backgrounds.”

Of the 627,988 men and 817,862 women included in the analytic sample, there were 18,822 cases of lung cancer reported over a median follow-up of 8.6 years.

Those who had the highest fiber intake had a 17% lower risk of lung cancer than those who were in the lowest quintile. Individuals who ate more than 3 to 4 ounces of yogurt a day had a 19% lower risk of lung cancer than those who consumed no yogurt. “When considered jointly, high yogurt consumption with the highest quintile of fiber intake showed more than 30% reduced risk of lung cancer than nonyogurt consumption with the lowest quintile of fiber intake (hazard ratio = 0.67 [95% confidence interval = 0.61–0.73] in total study populations), suggesting potential synergism,” the investigators noted. Of interest, there was an inverse association between both fiber and yogurt intakes and lung cancer risk after adjustment for status and pack-years of smoking and other lung cancer risk factors.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit jamanetwork.com.



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