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Although fiber is not considered an essential nutrient, numerous nutritional experts and organizations recommend consuming 25-30 grams of dietary fiber daily as part of a sensible diet. Despite such recommendations, and previous research suggesting the role of fiber in reducing the risk of several types of cancer, the average American consumes only about 10-15 grams per day.

If you haven't yet adopted a diet containing adequate amounts of fiber, perhaps these latest study results will do the trick.

A recent study in the International Journal of Cancer compared 902 patients with cancer (271 with oral cancer, 327 with pharyngeal cancer, and 304 with esophageal cancer) with 1,950 control subjects.

Results showed that individuals who consumed the most fruit, vegetables and whole-grain cereals (all high in dietary fiber) had a lower risk for cancers of the mouth and throat, compared with these on low-fiber diets. Soluble fiber, found in fruit, vegetables, and whole grain cereals, and insoluble fiber, found in seeds and the skin of fruit, were both protective. The results were also equal for both sexes. The authors mention that high fiber intake may be a marker for a healthier lifestyle that includes lower intake of meat and other foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol, and higher intake of low-fat foods such as fruit and vegetables.

Ask your doctor to help outline a comprehensive nutritional program suitable to your needs. For more information on nutrition, go to


Soler M, Bosetti C, Franceschi S, et al. Fiber intake and the risk of oral, pharyngeal and esophageal cancer. International Journal of Cancer January 2001:91, pp283-287.