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Sci Rep. 2015 Mar 5;5:8797. doi: 10.1038/srep08797.

Dietary legume consumption reduces risk of colorectal cancer: evidence from a meta-analysis of cohort studies.

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State Key Laboratory of Environment Health (Incubation), MOE (Ministry of Education) Key Laboratory of Environment &Health, Ministry of Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Environment and Health (Wuhan), and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.
Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA.


Previous epidemiological studies on the relation between dietary legume consumption and risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) remain controversial. We conducted a meta-analysis based on prospective cohort studies to investigate the association between dietary legume consumption and risk of CRC. Fourteen cohort studies were finally included, containing a total of 1,903,459 participants and 12,261 cases who contributed 11,628,960 person-years. We found that higher legume consumption was associated with a decreased risk of CRC (RR, relative risk = 0.91; 95% CI, confidence interval = 0.84-0.98). Subgroup analyses suggested that higher legume consumption was inversely associated with CRC risk in Asian (RR = 0.82; 95% CI = 0.74-0.91) and soybean intake was associated with a decreased risk of CRC (RR = 0.85; 95% CI = 0.73-0.99). Findings from our meta-analysis supported an association between higher intake of legume and a reduced risk of CRC. Further studies controlled for appropriate confounders are warranted to validate the associations.

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