People who frequently eat plenty of fish may have a significantly lower risk of colon cancer and rectal cancer compared with non-consumers.
The finding which appeared in the American Journal of Medicine
, was a result of an analysis of 41 past international studies about association between fish consumption and cancer diagnoses and death.
“Our findings from this meta-analysis suggest that fish consumption is inversely associated with colorectal cancer,” wrote Jie Liang and colleagues from Xijing Hospital of Digestive Diseases in Xian, China.
Overall, regularly eating fish was tied to a 12 percent lower risk of developing or dying of colorectal cancers, said the scientists who found that the protective effect was stronger for rectal cancer.
Reportedly, people who consumed the highest amounts of fish had a 21 percent lower risk of rectal cancer while their colon cancer odds was just 4 percent lower than non-fish eaters.
The study focused specifically on benefits of eating fresh fish. It was also unable to pinpoint what types of fish or which of the cooking methods were tied to the most benefits.
"Cooking temperatures might affect the risk of colorectal cancer," suggested Liang. He cited recent evidence suggesting that eating plenty of meat and fish barbecued or grilled over high heat is tied to greater risk of cancer.