Health Alert: Cancer fighting fiber

NATIONAL - We've all heard the saying "men are from Mars, women are from Venus." Well, it may be truer then we thought. Our differences may go as deep as our digestive systems.

Bob Fischer's diet wouldn't be complete without fiber. His wife makes sure of it.

"As a science teacher, she's well aware of the contents and of food so she makes sure that the meals I have definitely contain at least some fiber in every instance," said Bob.

He is aware of the importance of fiber in fighting disease, "Fiber, I think, is a critical part of helping to prevent the onset of colon cancer."

A three year study at the University of Arizona confirms what Bob and his wife know, fiber is fundamental in fighting colon cancer. But there was a twist.

Dr. Elizabeth Jacobs, "We found that there was a protective effect of an intervention in men, but not in women."

The lead researcher, Doctor Jacobs, theorizes that hormones hampered the fiber boost in women.

"Hormone replacement therapy tends to actually be protective in women from colorectal cancer and one hypothesis is that fiber actually kind of reduces your circulating hormones."

Further testing is now needed to prove why the fiber failed women.

"And maybe it would have worked in women in four years or five years," says Dr. Jacobs. "That's it, you know that's one of the things we're gonna look at, but we're just not sure."

Regardless of the outcome, one thing is sure: fiber is a great addition to any diet.

Dr. Jacobs says although the participants are no longer taking the fiber, she will continue to follow them over the next ten years. She hopes to see if they are still at a reduced risk of colon cancer.

Posted by Bryce Mursch