October 02, 2021
Researchers now better understand why spinach consumption is linked to a reduced risk of colon cancer.
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, and one of the most common cancers among men and women.
Previous research identified that spinach had anti-colon cancer properties, but a recent study from Texas A&M University in College Station confirmed this – and delved into the reason why.
The study found that spinach can inhibit colon polyp growth in people with both non-genetic and genetic colon cancer, Medical News Today reported. Polyps are clusters of cells that grow in the lining of the colon that can turn cancerous.
By inhibiting polyp growth, spinach can reduce the risk of colon cancer by as much as 50% in some patients.
In the study, researchers fed freeze-dried spinach to rats for 26 weeks and analyzed samples from three systems of the body to make their conclusions: the microbiome, transcriptome, and metabolome. They found spinach consumption could delay polyp growth.
Senior investigator Dr. Roderick Dashwood said people should start eating spinach as a preventative measure for colon cancer as soon as possible.
"You shouldn't wait until polyps arise in order to start to do these sorts of preventative things," Dashwood said.
Spinach has several other health properties, like protecting your heart health and reducing the risk of cardiomegaly. It also supports immune function.