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Texas A&M University Health Science Center study:

Spinach consumption might prevent colon cancer

A recent study from the Texas A&M University Health Science Center suggests that eating spinach could prevent colon cancer.

In the United States, colon cancer is the fourth-most common cancer and second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Previous studies have shown that eating green vegetables and fiber reduces risk of colon cancer by as much as half. This new study, recently published in the journal Gut Microbes, explores the relationship between spinach, gut health, genes and colon cancer outcomes. quoted principal investigator Roderick Dashwood, director of the Center for Epigenetics & Disease Prevention at the Texas A&M Health Institute of Biosciences and Technology as saying: “We believe eating spinach can also be protective for people who do not have familial adenomatous polyposis.”

Hereditary forms of colon cancer only account for about 10 to 15 percent of cases. The majority of colon cancers are sporadic, meaning they are not driven by a genetic predisposition inherited through a family. Dashwood explains that over decades, exposure to carcinogens through diet and environment can change the way genes are expressed in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and this can cause people to develop polyps in the colon and lower GI tract later in life that can progress into cancer. This is why the American Cancer Society recommends starting colon cancer screening at age 45.

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