Fish may sometimes be overlooked by seemingly more tempting choices like pork, beef, and chicken, but according to a study published in the American Journal of Medicine, choosing meat over fish may deny people important health benefits. Researchers say that adding more fish to your diet may actually decrease your risk of getting rectal and colon cancer.
Compiling 41 studies on the matter, Jie Liang of Xijing Hospital of Digestive Diseases in Xi'an, China, and colleagues were able to track down the number of cancer reports and match it with the participants’ consumption of fish. Based on the results, those who ate fish regularly were able to lower their risk of getting rectal and colon cancer by 12 percent.
In addition, those who ate the most fish had a 21-percent smaller chance of getting rectal cancer than those who ate the least. It was harder to verify the results for colon cancer, however, as the supposed four percent decrease in risk was just too small to be taken at face value.
The study itself has certain limitations. For one, it does not reveal exactly how eating more fish lowers the risk of rectal and colon cancer. There is also no one cooking method recommended by the researchers. While further research is needed to answer these questions, eating fish is still a good way to keep a balanced diet. If anything else, it will at least add variety to the dinner table.
(Photo by lyn.gardner via Flickr Creative Commons)