Anyone who takes nutritional supplements to help keep their intestinal track clean knows that fiber can benefit colon health.
Now, a new study published in the journal Gastroenterology suggests that fiber and whole grains may also play a role in reducing the risk of developing small bowel cancer, Reuters reports.
To reach their findings, researchers analyzed data taken from more than 400,000 people as part of a large-scale diet and health study.
They concluded that there was a significant link between fiber intake and cancer of the small intestine. Subjects who consumed the largest amount of fiber were shown to be 49 percent less likely to develop this cancer than those who had the smallest intake.
Dr Arthur Schatzkin of the National Cancer Institute and colleagues explained that a fiber-rich diet is already recognized as offering a protective benefit against colon cancer.
The scientists suggested that Americans should look at including more foods containing fiber in their diet.
Herbal supplements that contain fiber may also be a good complement to foods such as wholegrain bread, vegetables, lentils, beans and nuts.