Is dietary fibre truly protective against colon cancer? A systematic review and meta-analysis

Vincenza Gianfredi, Tania Salvatori, Milena Villarini, Massimo Moretti, Daniele Nucci, Stefano Realdon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide. Growing evidence shows that about 47% of cases of colorectal cancer can be prevented by a healthy lifestyle. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the association between dietary fibre intake and the risk of colon cancer. We performed a structured computer search on PubMed, including epidemiological studies reporting results of dietary fibre intake and risk of colon cancer in women or men. We compared subjects exposed to the highest versus the lowest consumption. The search strategy identified 376 papers. After screening, 25 datasets were included in our meta-analysis. Results suggest a protective role of dietary fibre intake on colon cancer risk ES = 0.74 (95% CI = 0.67-0.82), p value = .000, but, moderate statistical heterogeneity (χ2 = 42.73, p value = .011) was found. Due to the high mortality of colorectal cancer, it is important to identify effective preventive measures, especially those of a healthy lifestyle, such as a healthy diet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)904-915
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


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