Recent nutrition research published in The Lancet confirms what dietitians already know: the best way to protect yourself from digestive cancers is by eating right, not taking a pill.
“The bottom line is to forget the antioxidant supplement and eat lots of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables,” said William Hart, Ph.D., R.D., associate professor of nutrition and dietetics at Saint Louis University. “Limit meat, high fat milk products and all other sources of fat.”
The report in The Lancet examined 20 years of research on people believed to be at high risk of developing gastrointestinal cancers who took antioxidant supplements – which included selenium and vitamins A, C and E. The Danish physician who led the study called the vitamins “useless” in preventing common digestive cancers, and said more study is needed on whether selenium can fight liver cancer.
“This research confirms what I have been saying,” Hart said. “Eating a good diet with lots of whole grains, highly colored vegetables and fresh fruits and limiting meats and fat is the best way to ensure that you maximize your own genetic potential to avoid or delay chronic diseases.”
Dr. Hart has a doctorate degree in human nutrition and master’s degrees in biochemistry and public health.