Statistic can not always explain some differences in epidemiological data. For example, in the south of Europe the smoker rate is higher than in the north and the cancer levels are lower, contradicting the statistics expectative. Ambient conditions and the way of life strongly influence these results, and among them, diet is one of the most important factor in cancer development, specially for cancers that affect organs in the gastrointestinal tract. Among this group of cancers, colorectal cancer is the mos t frecuent cause of cancer death in developed countries. Recently a new concept, as alternative of dietary fibre, has been established in our laboratory: Indigestible Fraction (IF). It comprises most components of vegetable foods that escapes digestion and absorption in the small intestine, reaching the colon where it is susceptible to bacterial fermentation. The target of this project is to determinate the IF from the most representative European diets (Mediterranean, Centre European/ Anglo-Saxon, North Eu ropean and East European). After quantification, composition will be determined and two characteristics will be studied, intestinal microflora control and the possible role in colorectal cancer protection. For this purpose established, adapted and new meth ods will be used. Due to the high impact of colorectal cancer in the United States of America and the increasing influence of their gastronomy in Europe, North American diet will also be studied and compared with the European. Result will be compared with epidemiological data related to colorectal cancer and intestinal infections from the correspondent regions. We try to find a correlation between quantity and quality of IF ingested and disease risk.
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