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Whole grains uniquely benefit your liver and lower risk of liver cancer, researchers find


Keeping your liver at optimal health is crucial because this organ plays many important roles in your body. One of the ways to keep it healthy is to eat more whole grains and cereal. Following a diet rich in whole grains and dietary fiber may lower your risk of liver cancer, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

The researchers aimed to determine if eating more grains and fiber can reduce the risk of liver cancer. To do so, they used two large U.S. data sets: the Nurses’ Health Study, which is an all-female study that started in 1976, and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which began in 1986 and comprised of male participants.

Every four years or so, for up to 32 years, the participants completed a questionnaire about their dietary habits. During that period, 141 out of the over 125,000 participants were diagnosed with liver cancer.

The researchers observed that a higher consumption of whole grains was linked to a lower risk of liver cancer. They also discovered that certain parts of whole grains might be responsible for the reduced risk. (Related: Liver cancer deaths are skyrocketing as food becomes increasingly TOXIC due to pesticides and herbicides.)

The bran from whole grains may be responsible for lower risk of liver cancer

A whole grain is a seed with three main parts: the outer layer called bran; the middle layer called endosperm; and the core of the seed called germ. The bran and germ contain vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and healthy fats. The endosperm, while it has some proteins and vitamins, is primarily made up of starchy carbohydrates.

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The researchers discovered that consuming higher amounts of bran was linked to a lower risk of liver cancer, but they did not find a link for eating higher amounts of germ. In addition, they found that consuming more cereal fiber was linked to a lower risk of the cancer. However, no association was found from eating fiber-rich fruits or vegetables.

Based on their findings, the researchers concluded that consuming whole grains, cereal fiber, and bran could help lower the risk of liver cancer among American male adults. The team also found similar associations even after excluding people who had hepatitis infections, which are a risk factor for liver cancer.

Preventing liver cancer

Many types of cancer can be prevented by simply adhering to a healthy lifestyle. Making the following changes can help lower your risk of liver cancer:

  • Limit your alcohol intake – Alcohol consumption can lead to cirrhosis or scarring of the liver, which is a major risk factor for liver cancer.
  • Quit smoking – Smoking tobacco can increase your risk of liver cancer, as well as many other types of cancer and life-threatening diseases. Therefore, stopping this harmful habit can help you live longer.
  • Maintain a healthy weight – If you are overweight or obese, consider starting your journey to losing weight right now. People with obesity are at a greater risk of having fatty liver disease and diabetes – both of which have been associated with liver cancer.
  • Avoid cancer-causing chemicals – Limiting your exposure to cancer-causing substances such as aflatoxins can help lower your risk of liver cancer and other cancers.
  • Address diseases that affect liver cancer risk – Existing and inherited diseases can increase your risk of liver cirrhosis. Addressing these diseases as soon as possible can help you prevent liver cancer.

Take control of your health and start preventing cancer and other diseases with a healthier lifestyle.

Sources include:

LiveScience.com

Cancer.org



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