Article Search

Journal of Cancer Prevention


J Cancer Prev 2022; 27(3): 139-146

Published online September 30, 2022

© Korean Society of Cancer Prevention

Dietary Intervention for Preventing Colorectal Cancer: A Practical Guide for Physicians

Sang Hoon Kim *, Jeong Yeon Moon *, Yun Jeong Lim

Department of Internal Medicine, Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital, Dongguk University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea

Correspondence to :
Yun Jeong Lim, E-mail:,
*These authors contributed equally to this work as co-first authors.

Received: June 20, 2022; Revised: September 1, 2022; Accepted: September 2, 2022

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a disease with high prevalence and mortality. Estimated preventability for CRC is approximately 50%, indicating that altering modifiable factors, including diet and body weight, can reduce CRC risk. There is strong evidence that dietary factors including whole grains, high-fiber, red and processed meat, and alcohol can affect the risk of CRC. An alternative strategy for preventing CRC is use of a chemopreventive supplement that provides higher individual exposure to nutrients than what can be obtained from the diet. These include calcium, vitamin D, folate, n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and phytochemicals. Several intervention trials have shown that these dietary chemopreventives have positive protective effects on development and progression CRC. Research on chemoprevention with phytochemicals that possess anti-inflammatory and/or, anti-oxidative properties is still in the preclinical phase. Intentional weight loss by bariatric surgery has not been effective in decreasing long-term CRC risk. Physicians should perform dietary education for patients who are at high risk of cancer for changing their dietary habits and behaviour. An increased understanding of the role of individual nutrients linked to the intestinal micro-environment and stages of carcinogenesis would facilitate the development of the best nutritional formulations for preventing CRC.

Keywords: Chemoprevention, Diet, Colorectal neoplasms, Calcium, Fatty acids, omega-3

Share this article on :

Related articles in JCP

Most KeyWord