There is evidence that diet can help maintain a healthy colon, but there is little understanding of which foods may offer the most benefit. A new study is showing that yogurt might help lower the risk of colon trouble.
The new observational study found that men who ate at least two servings of yogurt per week had substantially fewer growths—adenoma—in their colon than those that didn’t. Adenoma is often benign, but they can become malignant tumors. Anything that can limit the number of them can lower your chance for the c-word.
Conducted by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a number of collaborating institutions, they found high consumption of yogurt in men reduced adenoma risk by 19-percent compared to men who did not eat yogurt. The yogurt-eating men were also 26 percent less likely to develop “abnormal growths with a high likelihood of developing into malignant tumors in the colon.” The results of the study are published in the BMJ Journal Gut.
Although the same results were not observed in women, and the study does not prove cause and effect, there are some theories as to why the association between yogurt and fewer growths in the colon exist. One is that yogurt often contains the bacteria strains Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophiles, which may contain certain carcinogens that promote colon health. It’s also possible that yogurt has an anti-inflammatory effect in the colon, which may offer protection from potentially malignant growths in the area.
Including two servings of yogurt into your week is manageable and may pay some severe dividends for colon health. When buying yogurt, opt for varieties low in sugar—typically unflavored—and give it a health and flavor boost by adding berries, nuts, or honey.