Researchers investigate impact of lifestyle on GI health

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 21, 2007) -- According to new research presented today at Digestive Disease Week 2007 (DDW), lifestyle factors like choosing your diet regimen or ordering an appetizer for dinner may have a significant impact on the gastrointestinal (GI) system, affecting your risk for certain diseases, weight and general GI-related activity. DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians and researchers in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

"Many factors come into play when managing a healthy lifestyle. While some factors may be difficult for patients to change, other simple adjustments, such as adopting a vegetarian diet early in life or ordering the appropriate soup while eating out, may result in decreased risk for obesity and colon cancer," said Alan Buchman, M.D., MSPH, AGAF, Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University School of Medicine. "The studies presented today further demonstrate how researchers are beginning to understand the links between digestive diseases and lifestyle most notably, diet."

Life Long Vegetarian Diet Reduces the Risk of Colorectal Cancer (Abstract #155)

The average person's lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC) is about seven percent and the role of diet in preventing this type of cancer remains under debate. Most of all, previous studies enrolled middle-aged subjects, raising the possibility that CRC development may start before common interventions. Researchers from Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) in Mumbai, India, set out to determine whether a vegetarian diet is associated with reduced risk of CRC if started very early in life.

In this study, researchers used a prospectively created database of 8,877 Indian patients managed in a clinical nutrition service from January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2005, to examine the association of life-long vegetarianism with incidence of CRC. During the e

Contact: Aimee Frank
American Gastroenterological Association

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