Patients with non-metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) may have improved CRC-specific and overall mortality through a daily fiber intake increase, according to a study published in JAMA Oncology.1

For this prospective study, researchers evaluated dietary and mortality data from 1575 health care professionals with stage I to III CRC.

Over a median 8 years of follow-up, there were 773 reported deaths, of which 174 (22.5%) were CRC-specific.

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The results showed an inverse relationship between high dietary fiber–intake and CRC-specific mortality: the multivariable hazard ratio (HR) for each 5-gram daily fiber–intake increase for CRC-specific mortality was 0.78 (95% CI, 0.65-0.93; P = .006), and 0.86 (95% CI, 0.79-0.93; P < .001) for all-cause mortality.

Patients who increased their daily intake upon diagnosis had a lower mortality rate. Each 5-gram increase led to an 18% and 14% reduction in CRC-specific mortality (95% CI, 7%-28%; P = .002) and all-cause mortality (95% CI, 8%-19%; P < .001), respectively.

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The source of dietary fiber was also a factor. Fiber from cereal decreased CRC-specific mortality and all-cause mortality; vegetable fiber was associated with a lower all-cause mortality but not with CRC-specific mortality; fruit fiber was not associated with a reduction in either outcome.


  1. Song M, Wu K, Meyerhardt JA, et al. Fiber intake and survival after colorectal cancer diagnosis. JAMA Oncol. 2017 Nov 2. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2017.3684 [Epub ahead of print]