evidence for the health benefits of anti-inflammatory foods
keeps building, with a recent University of South Carolina
study showing a strong link between inflammatory foods and
study, funded by the university’s Center for Colon Cancer
Research and presented as a poster at a recent American
Institute of Cancer Research meeting, took a fresh look at
existing dietary data from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal
Study from 1987-2003.
inflammatory diet index developed by James Hebert, director of
the South Carolina Statewide Cancer Prevention and Control
Program and a distinguished professor at the University of
South Carolina, researchers determined that participants with
an anti-inflammatory diet were 400 percent less likely to die
from gastrointestinal cancers.
Steck, one of the study’s authors and an associate professor
at the university, cautioned that the sample size for GI
deaths in the study is small. The 400 percent number shouldn’t
be the takeaway as much as the growing evidence that diet can
play a major role in diseases such as esophageal, stomach and
colorectal cancer. And an inflammatory diet can contribute to
higher rates of those cancers.
high in saturated or trans fats, sugar and gluten are
especially inflammatory on the digestive tract. Alcohol, white
bread and milk (but not low-fat milk) also are inflammatory.
and vegetables and many non-processed foods are
anti-inflammatory, and so are many spices such as turmeric,
ginger, oregano and garlic.