Inflammation-causing properties in foods such as red and processed meats, sugary beverages, and refined grains may be responsible for increasing people’s risk of colorectal cancer, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“There are several stimulators of chronic inflammation, and diet is one of those factors that can constantly stimulate the body toward a more chronic inflammatory state,” said lead study author Fred Tabung, a research associate in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard Chan School, in a Jan. 18, 2018 Vox article.

Following nearly 122,000 male and female health care professionals for 26 years, the researchers found that those who ate the most pro-inflammatory diet had a 32 percent greater risk of developing colorectal cancer than those whose diet contained the lowest amounts of inflammation-causing foods.

Chronic inflammation has been linked with various chronic illnesses, including cancer, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

Read the Vox article: Why certain diets may increase your cancer risk

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