The roles of fruits and vegetables in colorectal cancer development are unclear. Few prospective studies have assessed the association with adenoma, a known precursor to colorectal cancer. Our aim was to evaluate the association between fruit and vegetable intake and colorectal cancer development by evaluating the risk of incident and recurrent colorectal adenoma and colorectal cancer. Study participants were identified from the intervention arm of the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Fruit and vegetable intake was measured using a self-reported dietary questionnaire. Total fruit and vegetable intake was not associated with reduced incident or recurrent adenoma risk overall, but a protective association was observed for multiple adenomas (Odds ratio 3rd tertile vs. 1st tertile = 0.61, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.38, 1.00). Higher fruit and vegetable intakes were associated with a borderline reduced risk of colorectal cancer (Hazard ratio (HR) 3rd tertile vs. 1st tertile = 0.82, 95% CI: 0.67, 1.01), which reached significance amongst individuals with high processed meat intakes (HR = 0.74, 95% CI: 0.55, 0.99). Our results suggest that increased fruit and vegetable intake may protect against multiple adenoma development and may reduce the detrimental effects of high processed meat intakes on colorectal cancer risk.
Kunzmann, A. T., Coleman, H. G., Huang, W-Y., Cantwell, M. M., Kitahara, C. M., & Berndt, S. I. (2016). Fruit and vegetable intakes and risk of colorectal cancer, incident and recurrent adenomas in the PLCO Cancer Screening Trial. International Journal of Cancer, 138(8), 1852-1861. https://doi.org/10.1002/ijc.29922