Cancer is the second leading cause of death in U.S., with estimated 595,690 cancer deaths and 1,685,210 new cancer cases only in 2016. One of the most common cancer types is colon cancer, with an estimated number of 50,000 deaths in U.S. only this year.
One recent study suggests that consuming dried plums can significantly reduce the risk of colon cancer.
More about the Study
The study was led by the professor at the Texas A&M University, Nancy Turner and presented at the Biology Conference of Massachusetts.
Turner and her team say that dried plums can significantly reduce the risk of colon cancer by maintaining the gut bacteria, or the gut microbiota.
Past researches have already shown the direct link between diet and the gut microbiota’s metabolism and composition. What Turner said in the Boston conference is that the intestinal tract contains trillions of bacteria, 400 species of which have been successfully identified.
Knowing them has allowed researchers to test the dried plums effects on the colon and gut bacteria.
According to Turner and her team, consuming dried plums provides important health benefits for the colon, including the following:
- Retention of colon microbiota
- Maintenance of the colon microbial metabolism patterns
- Lowered number of aberrant crypt foci – gland clusters in the colon and rectum lining – one of the primary signs of cancer development
Due to the ability of dried plums to promote retention of gut microbiota and metabolism, researchers have concluded that they can significantly lower the chances of cancer, and even prevent it.
Plums or Prunes?
The next question is whether you should consume only dried plums, or you can substitute them with prunes. As researchers explain, while all prunes can be regarded as plums, not all plums can be regarded as prunes. Despite this fact, some countries outside U.S. are using these two names interchangeably.
Dried plums have been proven to reduce the risk of cancer, but this doesn’t mean fresh plums can do the same thing. Dried plums contain insoluble and soluble fiber, as well as sorbitol – as oppose to fresh plums. They increase phenolic compounds and other beneficial gut microorganisms.
We hope that from now on you will include more dried plums in your diet.