Consumption of fruits and vegetables may confer protection from colorectal adenomas.
The limited observational and interventional evidence is inconclusive.
Dr Karin Michels and colleagues from Massachusetts examined the association between fruit and vegetable consumption and adenomas of the distal colon and rectum in the Nurses' Health Study.
The investigative team collected data from 34,467 women who had undergone colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy during follow-up between 1980 and 1998.
Consumption of fruits and vegetables was assessed in 1980, 1984, 1986, 1990, and 1994 using a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire.
The team found that 1,720 prevalent cases of adenoma of the distal colon and rectum were diagnosed between 1980 and 1998.
|The odds ratio for colorectal adenomas with 5 or more fruit servings a day was 0.6|
Frequent consumption of fruit was inversely related to the risk of being diagnosed with polyps.
However, the investigators found little association for vegetable consumption.
Women who consumed 5 or more servings of fruit a day had an odds ratio of 0.6 for developing colorectal adenomas.
The team noted that the respective odds ratio for vegetable consumption was 0.8.
Women who consumed 4 or more servings of legumes per week had a lower incidence of colorectal adenomas than with 1 serving per week or less.
Dr Michels' team concluded, “Frequent consumption of fruit may reduce the risk of colorectal adenomas.”