Plant based diets & bowel cancer

Executive Summary

* This week's paper was based on the MultiEthnic Cohort Study. This is a population study of more than 215,000 adults of different ethnicity, living in Hawaii and Los Angeles.

* The study looked at the association between plant-based diets and the risk of colorectal cancer. Plant consumption was further examined as healthy plants (e.g., whole grains, fruits) and unhealthy plants (e.g., refined grains, added sugars).

* There were two findings. Both only applied to men. These were that higher intake of all plants and higher intake of healthy plants were both associated with lower colorectal cancer incidence. There were no findings for women whatsoever.

* The paper needed to explain why there were findings for men, not women. It didn't.

* This was a long and large study. The incident rate per year was tiny. The cancer incidence difference between high and low plant intake was also tiny.

* The paper reported 3 indices of plant intakes, for 4 levels of intake, for men and women, for 5 different ethnic groups. This gave 120 results. Only 3 of these were significant findings.

* The main finding of the research, therefore, was that there were no findings. This was not what was reported.


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