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The Takeaway: Eat Fish to Lower Colorectal Cancer Risk


Not only is fish great for your brain, it could also lower your risk of rectal and colon cancers, doctors say. A team from Xijing Hospital in China analyzed 41 past studies on the link and found regular consumption of fish tied to a 12 percent lower risk of developing or dying from colorectal cancer (one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in the United States).

The effect was greater for rectal cancer than for colon cancer, according to Reuters.

People who ate the highest amounts of fish had a 21 percent lower risk of getting rectal cancer than those who ate the least. That compared to just a 4 percent lower risk of colon cancer -- which was so small, it could have been due to chance.

The study focused specifically on fresh fish, but didn't pinpoint what types of fish people ate or how it was prepared. "Cooking temperatures might affect the risk of colorectal cancer," Jie Liang, who worked on the study, told Reuters, citing recent evidence that suggests eating meat and fish barbecued or grilled over high heat could increase cancer risk.

The study also failed to show whether the benefit comes from specific nutrients in fish or the fact that people who eat fish tend to adopt other healthy habits. The added benefit could be coming from the omega-3 fatty acids found in certain fish, some say. Omega-3s are linked to  improved memory and lower risk of Alzheimer's or dementia.

Friday Quick Hits: 

  • A new report indicates that middle-aged and older women have a tougher time finding work than their male counterparts; it also says the pay gap for women widens with age (sigh ...).
  • Mobile home parks have evolved, with new units frequently featuring high-end amenities and ample space. "I think it's a great option for retirement," said Misty Rangel, community manager for a Florida mobile home park.
  • And retirement communities are also evolving, as some developers "rethink the 55-plus market." Not everyone wants to downsize in retirement said Luther Gueyikian, president of Byron-Hill Homebuilders. "Some people don't want to go to a smaller house. They want a new home with bragging rights."

Photo: Monty Rakusen/Cultura/Getty Images

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