Starchy food may reduce red meat-related colorectal cancer risk

Washington: A new study has revealed that consuming starch that acts like fiber may help reduce colorectal cancer risk associated with a high red meat diet.

Researchers said that red meat and resistant starch have opposite effects on the colorectal cancer -promoting miRNAs, the miR-17-92 cluster and the findings supports consumption of resistant starch as a means of reducing the risk associated with a high red meat diet.

Karen J. Humphreys from Flinders Center for Innovation in Cancer at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, said that unlike most starches, resistant starch escapes digestion in the stomach and small intestine, and passes through to the colon (large bowel) where it has similar properties to fiber and resistant starch is readily fermented by gut microbes to produce beneficial molecules called short-chain fatty acids, such as butyrate.

According to the study, after eating 300 g of lean red meat per day for four weeks, study participants had a 30 percent increase in the levels of certain genetic molecules called miR-17-92 in their rectal tissue, and an associated increase in cell proliferation. Consuming 40 g of butyrated resistant starch per day along with red meat for four weeks brought miR-17-92 levels down to baseline levels.

The study was published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

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