We all are aware of the health benefits of fruits, veggies and whole grains. What about meats? Turns out eating chicken as a teen has health benefits beyond the extra protein.

According to a new study, slashes the risk of a precancerous condition that may develop into colon cancer.

Study researcher Dr. Katharina Nimptsch stated, “Among different cancers, colorectal cancer is the most influenced by diet. Compared to something like smoking, diet is not a large cancer risk factor, but it does have an impact.

“Colorectal carcinogenesis is a long process that can take several decades, and the initial steps of carcinogenesis may occur at young ages.”

Study details
The focus of the study was to investigate whether diet during teenage has an impact on their future cancer risk. It involved 19,771 women from ages 34 to 51 years. As a part of the study, the subjects were asked questions pertaining to their diet during high school.

In the decade after high school, 1,494 of the women were diagnosed with colorectal adenomas. Among these, 305 were in an advanced stage.

The analysis did not highlight a direct relationship between red meat intake and adenomas, but it was noted that swapping one serving per day of red meat with that of poultry or fish may reduce the risks of rectal and advanced adenomas by about 40 per cent. However, intake of more poultry and fish in adulthood didn’t seem to change the risk.

“Our findings do not suggest an association between red meat intake during adolescence and colorectal adenomas later in life, but higher poultry intake during this time was associated with a lower risk of colorectal adenomas,” the researchers said.

Though the findings add to previous evidence that eating poultry may decrease risk of colon cancer, the mechanism behind the link is ambiguous. Researchers feel there is need for further research to substantiate the results.

“Before recommendations are made based on these findings, it is necessary that results are confirmed,” Nimptsch said.

The study was published June 19 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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