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Can peanuts cause bowel cancer?

Does eating peanuts every day help to cause colon cancer by releasing toxins in the bowel during digestion?

There is no evidence that peanuts cause bowel cancer. You may be thinking of aflatoxins. These come from a mould that grows in peanuts stored in unsuitable conditions. Aflatoxin contamination is not common in the developed world. But it is reported in developing countries, where it is known to be one of the causes of primary liver cancer.

You can reduce your risk of bowel cancer by changing your diet in other ways. Current government advice on eating a healthy diet includes

  • Eating more fruit and vegetables
  • Increasing your fibre intake
  • Lowering your red meat intake
  • Eating less processed meat (sausages, pies, and cured meats such as ham and bacon)

Taking more exercise can help to reduce colon cancer rates.

Look at the risks and causes of colorectal cancer page for detailed information about diet and other risk factors. There is also information about reducing risk in our healthy eating section.

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Updated: 16 September 2013