We invite you to join us by participating in AICR’s Click, Connect, Commit campaign

February is National Cancer Prevention Month.  In recognition, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) has launched its Click, Connect, Commit campaign, a series of social media posts throughout the month of February that promote activities that have been proven to reduce cancer risk, such as eating healthier and moving more.  We at ASN are taking advantage of our extensive social media reach to support this campaign.  We encourage our members to participate as well by joining us across social media platforms to help everyone reduce their cancer risk.  The posts can be customized to fit your audience.  By using hashtags #CancerPrevention and #ReduceYourRisk, readers can easily find additional on-point information.

In addition to participating in the Click, Connect, Commit campaign, we encourage you to share some of the important research findings published in our four ASN Journals.  For years, ASN Journals have been at the forefront of research connecting nutrition and diet to cancer prevention.  Below are examples of recently published research:

The World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research Third Expert Report on Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Cancer: Impact and Future Directions, The Journal of Nutrition, April 2020

This report provides an analysis of the accumulated research in the field, providing a framework for public health efforts around the globe to significantly reduce the burden of cancer, enhance health, and improve cancer survivors’ quality of life.  In contrast to the Second Expert Report published in 2007, this Third Report stresses the need to move away from a “reductionist strategy” that emphasizes single nutrients or phytochemicals.  Instead, ASN member Steven K. Clinton et al. make the argument that research should focus on an “integrated pattern of diet and exercise that combines to create a healthy internal host environment or metabolic state that over time makes cells of an array of tissues less susceptible to the accumulation of DNA alterations that are fundamental to the carcinogenesis cascade.”  The authors do point out that their recommendations are based on studies that have mostly been undertaken in higher-income nations.  They therefore see a “great need for research in lower- and middle-income nations and in geographic areas with more diverse ethnicity and genetic ancestry.”

Higher Mushroom Consumption Is Associated with Lower Risk of Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies, Advances in Nutrition, September 2021

Published September 2021, this systematic review and meta-analysis of 17 observational studies has garnered tremendous media attention: according to Altmetric, it has been mentioned in 164 news stories and 779 tweets to date.  ASN member Djibril M. Ba et al. found that “higher mushroom consumption was associated with lower risk of cancer.”  In particular, the authors noted that the association was most significant for breast cancer.  The authors’ dose-response meta-analysis indicated that consuming 18 grams of mushrooms per day was associated with a 45% lower risk of total cancer compared to consuming no mushrooms per day.  “The potential biological mechanisms underlying the association between mushroom consumption and lower risk of cancer may stem from their antioxidant properties due to the specific mushroom components ergothioneine and glutathione.”

Citrus Peel Flavonoids as Potential Cancer Prevention Agents, Current Developments in Nutrition, May 2020

The U.S. orange juice industry produces 700,000 tons of citrus peel waste annually.  According to Nooshin Koolaji et al., “due to the low cost and current nonuse of the peel by industry, citrus peel represents an untapped nutritional source that is rich in bioactive compounds.”  This review, in particular, focuses on the chemopreventative potential of citrus peel flavonoids, explaining their underlying mechanisms of action and highlighting new research in the field.  The authors document how citrus peel flavonoids can exert an anticancer effect through “suppression of proliferation, cell cycle inhibition, and induction of apoptosis.”  The authors further note that citrus peel flavonoids have a low toxicity profile both in vitro and in vivo, making them suitable for further dietary and food product development.  The review concludes with a call for more research to test citrus peel flavonoids “in a multitargeted pharmacological strategy, either for cancer prevention or as a coadministration in oncological therapies.”

Whole Grain and Dietary Fiber Intake and Risk of Colorectal Cancer in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study Cohort, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 2020

The NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study was developed at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health to build our understanding of the relationship between diet and health.  Launched in 1995, it is the largest study of diet and health that has ever been conducted.  In this AJCN study, ASN member Autumn G. Hullings et al. analyzed data from 285,456 men and 193,538 women aged 51 to 70 who participated in the NIH-AARP Study to determine the link between whole grain and dietary fiber intake and colorectal cancer.  The authors found that a higher intake of whole grains, but not dietary fiber, was associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer. Specifically, “compared with those in the lowest quintile of intake of whole grains, those in the highest quintile of intake of whole grains had a 16% lower risk of colorectal cancer, and we observed even stronger inverse associations for rectal cancer.”

Research from ASN Journals shows that better nutrition and diet are clearly linked to a lower risk of cancer.  Please help us spread the word during National Cancer Prevention Month!