-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Eating unhealthy snack foods
may increase the risk of colorectal cancer in people with a genetic
susceptibility to certain types of cancer, according to a new
The study included 486 people with Lynch syndrome, an inherited
condition caused by mutations in genes that help repair DNA within
cells. People with the condition have a high risk of developing
colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer and other cancers at an early
Previous research has shown that consuming alcohol and red and
processed meats can increase the risk of cancer in people with
Lynch syndrome. Smoking and obesity are other possible risk
The participants in this study provided information about their
eating habits and were followed for an average of 20 months. During
that time, colorectal polyps (precancerous growths) were detected
in 58 of the patients, according to the study published Dec. 17 in
"We saw that Lynch syndrome patients who had an eating pattern with higher intakes of snack foods -- like fast-food snacks, chips or fried snacks -- were twice as likely to develop these polyps as Lynch syndrome patients having a pattern with lower intakes of snack foods," study author Akke Botma, of the Wageningen University in the Netherlands, said in a journal news release.
The results suggest that eating habits may influence the
development of colorectal polyps in people with Lynch syndrome.
"Unfortunately, this does not mean that eating a diet low in snack foods will prevent any polyps from developing, but it might mean that those Lynch syndrome patients who eat a lot of snack foods might have more polyps than if they ate less snack foods," Botma said.
While the study found an association between eating certain
snack foods and the development of polyps in people with Lynch
syndrome, it did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine's Genetics Home Reference
has more about
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