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Rectal Cancer: 20% Risk Reduction Thanks to Dietary Fibre Intake. Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Post-Graduate School of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Perugia, P.le L. Severi 1, 06122 Perugia, Italy
Digestive Endoscopy Unit, Veneto Institute of Oncology IOV-IRCCS, Via Gattamelata 64, 35128 Padua, Italy
Department of Pharmaceutical Science, University of Perugia, Via del Giochetto 2, 06123 Perugia, Italy
Post-Graduate School of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1579;
Received: 24 June 2019 / Revised: 9 July 2019 / Accepted: 11 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate the association between dietary fibre intake and rectal cancer (RC) risk. In January 2019, a structured computer search on PubMed/Medline, Excerpta Medica dataBASE (EMBASE) and Scopus was performed for studies reporting the results of primary research evaluating dietary fibre intake in women and men as well as the risk of developing RC. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) recommendations were followed. Highest vs. lowest fibre concentrations was compared. The Egger test was used to estimate publication bias. Heterogeneity between studies was evaluated with I2 statistics. The search strategy identified 912 papers, 22 of which were included in our meta-analysis. Having evaluated a total of 2,876,136 subjects, the results suggest a protective effect of dietary fibre intake on RC prevention. The effect Size (ES) was [0.77 (95% CI = 0.66–0.89), p-value = 0.001)]. Moderate statistical heterogeneity (Chi2 = 51.36, df = 21, I2 = 59.11%, p-value = 0.000) was found. However, no publication bias was found, as confirmed by Egger’s linear regression test (Intercept −0.21, t = −0.24, p = 0.816). The findings suggest that dietary fibre intake could be protective against RC, with a clinically relevant reduction of RC risk. Identifying preventive measures to avoid the development of RC, especially by following a healthy lifestyle including healthy diet, is pivotal. View Full-Text
Keywords: diet; fibre; rectal cancer; dietary fibre diet; fibre; rectal cancer; dietary fibre
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Gianfredi, V.; Nucci, D.; Salvatori, T.; Dallagiacoma, G.; Fatigoni, C.; Moretti, M.; Realdon, S. Rectal Cancer: 20% Risk Reduction Thanks to Dietary Fibre Intake. Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1579.

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