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Fat, Fiber and Cancer Risk in African Americans and Rural Africans

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      Rates of colon cancer are much higher in African Americans (65:100,000) than in rural South Africans (<5:100,000). The higher rates are associated with higher animal protein and fat and lower fiber consumption, higher colonic secondary bile acids, lower colonic short chain fatty acid quantities and higher mucosal proliferative biomarkers of cancer risk in otherwise healthy middle aged volunteers. Here we investigate further the role of fat and fiber in this association. We performed two-week food exchanges in subjects from the same populations, where African Americans were fed a high-fiber, lowfat African-style diet, and rural Africans a high-fat low-fiber western-style diet under close supervision. In comparison to their usual diets, the food changes resulted in remarkable reciprocal changes in mucosal biomarkers of cancer risk and in aspects of the microbiota and metabolome known to affect cancer risk, best illustrated by increased saccharolytic fermentation and butyrogenesis and suppressed secondary bile acid synthesis in the African Americans.

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            Author and article information

            [1 ]Department of Medicine, Divisions of Gastroenterology, University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA
            [2 ]Pathology, University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA
            [3 ]Endocrinology, University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA
            [4 ]Sports Medicine and Nutrition, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA
            [5 ]Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, UK
            [6 ]Laboratory of Microbiology, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
            [7 ](LL and WMdV also affiliated with Department of Veterinary Bioscience, University of Helsinki, Finland; WMdV also with the Department of Bacteriology and Immunology, University of Helsinki, Finland); University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
            [8 ]University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
            Author notes
            Address for correspondence: Stephen J D O'Keefe MD, MSc, FRCP Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology University of Pittsburgh 200 Lothrop St Pittsburgh, PA 15213 sjokeefe@
            Nat Commun
            Nat Commun
            Nature communications
            24 January 2015
            28 April 2015
            28 October 2015
            : 6
            : 6342
            25919227 4415091 10.1038/ncomms7342 NIHMS657331

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