London: Eating enough fibre can cut bowel cancer risk by almost 20 percent. Although a high-fibre diet has been known to be good for the gut and protective against bowel cancer, the Imperial College London study is the first to quantify the benefit.

The analysis of 25 studies, involving almost two million participants, found for every 10-gram increase in total dietary fibre, the risk of bowel cancer dropped by 10 percent, the British medical journal reports.

Experts recommend that adults should eat between 18 and 24 grams of fibres a day, but the average intake in Britain is only about 15 grams, according to the Telegraph.

The researchers, from Imperial College London and the Danish Cancer Society, concluded that 'a high intake of dietary fibre, particularly from cereal and whole grains, is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer'.

Whole grain foods include brown and whole meal breads, cereals, oatmeal, brown rice and porridge.

Most foods only contain a little fibre so getting enough can be difficult. Muesli, for instance, only contains about three grams per 50 gram serving. Bowel cancer kills about 16,000 people in Britain alone a year, more than breast or prostate cancer.

(Agencies)