Study: Alcohol, White Bread Linked to Colorectal Cancer Risk

2 min read

Nov. 29, 2023 -- New research shows that consuming high amounts of white bread and alcohol is associated with a greater risk of developing colorectal cancer.

The same study also found that consuming more fiber, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and manganese is associated with a lower risk.

The study, published in the journal Nutrients,  examined the risk for colorectal cancer related to the intake of 139 foods and nutrients, analyzing data from more than 118,000 patients.

Researchers from the Zhejiang University School of Medicine in China used data from the U.K. Biobank. They followed participants for almost 13 years and found 1,466 cases of colorectal cancer in follow-ups.

“They found that participants who developed colorectal cancer were more likely to have certain characteristics,” Medical News Today wrote. “For example, they were more likely to be older, have a higher body mass index (BMI), and engage in lower physical activity levels.”

Earlier studies have connected health risks to overconsumption of alcohol and white bread. 

Dietician Erin Palinski-Wade, who was not involved in the study, told Fox News, "These results make sense, as diets rich in simple sugars along with excessive alcohol can increase cancer risk, especially for those who carry an increased genetic risk of developing cancer.”

But she pointed out that there are more factors determining risk than diet. One food, such as white bread, she said “will not make or break your health.” Instead, the overall quality of diet, over time, plays a greater role.

Fox reported that colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer among U.S. adults, according to the American Cancer Society. This year, about 153,000 new diagnoses are expected.