Men who had two or more servings of yogurt a week had a 26 percent lower risk of developing precancerous growths in their colon, a study reports.
Researchers didn’t find the same cancer-fighting benefit for women, however. Specifically, the findings suggest that Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, two bacteria usually found in yogurt, may reduce cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.
For the study, researchers collected data on nearly 33,000 men and nearly 56,000 women. All had an endoscopy between 1986 and 2012 to check for growths inside the lower bowel. Every four years, they also told researchers about their diet and how much yogurt they ate.
During the study, more than 5,800 men developed colon polyps, as did more than 8,100 women.
The abnormal growths, also called adenomas, precede development of cancer. Men who ate yogurt two or more times a week had a 26 percent lower risk for the kind of adenomas that are likely to become cancerous and for those in the colon rather than the rectum.
Their risk for noncancerous adenomas was 19 percent lower, researchers found.
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