Health Watch - Colorectal Cancer: High-Fat Diet

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about colorectal cancer, in observance of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. While early detection through annual screenings is key for saving lives, researchers are also looking for ways to prevent colon cancer.

Doctors have noticed that there’s a link between a high-fat diet and colon cancer. Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center discovered a possible reason for this link. The human body can’t cope with the amounts of a bile acid that’s produced when the body processes cholesterol. This acid is toxic, and when it builds up in the colon, it may lead to cancer. The body has ways to eliminate this acid, but Dr. David Mangelsdorf, a UT Southwestern pharmacologist, says the body can’t cope with the amount of acid produced by a high-fat diet like the current American diet.

Visit  to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in cancer treatment.



March 2009

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