Can a banana a day keep oncologists away?

Resistant starch is a carbohydrate that is not digested in your small intestine, instead, it ferments in your large intestine, feeding beneficial gut bacteria – it acts like fiber in the digestive system. your chemistry. This type of starch has a number of health benefits and is lower in calories than regular starch.

An international trial – called CAPP2 – involved nearly 1000 Lynch syndrome patients from around the world and revealed that a regular dose of resistant starch, also known as fermentable fiber, taken for an average of two years, did not affect bowel cancer but did reduce the number of cancers in other parts of the body by more than half. This effect was particularly pronounced for upper gastrointestinal cancers including cancers of the esophagus, stomach, biliary tract, pancreas, and duodenum.


The amazing effect has been seen to last for 10 years after stopping taking the supplement. The study, led by experts at the Universities of Newcastle and Leeds, published in the Journal of Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, is a double-blind follow-up plan in 10 years, supplemented with comprehensive national cancer registry data. for up to 20 years across 369 participants.

Previous research, published as part of the same trial, showed that aspirin reduces colon cancer by up to 50%.

“We see that Resistant starch reduces a range of cancers by more than 60%. Professor John Mathers, Professor of Human Nutrition at Newcastle University, explains that this effect is most evident in the upper part of the intestine. This is important because upper gastrointestinal cancer is difficult to diagnose and often goes undetected.

“Resistant starch can be taken as a supplement powder and is found naturally in peas, beans, oats and other starchy foods. The dose used in the trial was equivalent to eating it.” a banana daily; before they become overripe and soft, the starches in bananas resist breakdown and reach the intestines which can change the type of bacteria that live there.

Professor Sir John Burn, from the University of Newcastle and Newcastle Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, who ran the trial with Professor Mathers, said: “When we started the study more than 20 years ago, we thought that these People with a genetic predisposition to colon cancer can help us test whether we can reduce cancer risk with aspirin or resistant starch.”

“Patients with Lynch syndrome are at high risk because they are more likely to develop cancer, so the discovery that aspirin can halve the risk of colon cancer and resistant starch to these cancers has led to an increase in cancer risk.” another letter is extremely important.”

“Based on our testing, NICE now recommends Aspirin for people with a high genetic cancer risk, the benefit is clear – aspirin and resistant starch work.”

Long-term research

Between 1999 and 2005, nearly 1000 participants started taking resistant starch in powdered form every day for two years or aspirin or a placebo. At the end of the treatment period, there was no overall difference between those who took resistant starch or aspirin and those who did not. However, the research team predicted a longer-term effect and designed the study for follow-up.

During follow-up, there were only 5 new cases of upper gastrointestinal cancer among the 463 participants who took resistant starch compared with 21 cases out of 455 who took the placebo.

The team is currently leading the international trial, CaPP3, with more than 1,800 people with Lynch syndrome signed up to see if smaller, safer doses of aspirin could be used to help reduce cancer risk. .

The study was funded by Cancer Research UK, the European Commission, the Medical Research Council and the National Institutes of Health.

Source: Eurekalert

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