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Nutr Clin Pract. 2012 Oct;27(5):613-23. doi: 10.1177/0884533612454885. Epub 2012 Aug 14.

Diet and nutrient factors in colorectal cancer risk.

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  • 1Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Arizona Cancer Center, Tucson, Arizona, USA.


Diet and nutrition are estimated to explain as much as 30%-50% of the worldwide incidence of colorectal cancer. In 2007, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), in conjunction with the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), released the second expert report that summarizes the current scientific evidence linking diet to the prevention of cancer. This text provides an expert summary and level of evidence of the research relating diet/nutrients to factors that influence cancers of multiple organs, including colon and rectum, with an important emphasis on global patterns. Specific examples include dietary fat, red and processed meat, and dairy, as well effects of nutrients such as calcium, folate, and vitamin D. Evidence is obtained from ongoing systematic literature reviews conducted by experts in both the United States and Europe. The expert panel applies standard practices to evaluate the strength and quality of individual studies to draw summary conclusions. In 2011, the report was updated to include findings from a series of meta-analyses published in 2010. To complement the WCRF/AICR report, the authors review the evidence favoring the role for diet and nutrition in the etiology of colorectal cancer. Specifically, they have integrated information gained from more recent meta-analyses and high-quality, prospective study findings, some of which have been included in the 2011 updated WCRF/AICR summary.

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