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Stomach cancer risk factors may include soup-based dishes containing noodles and dumplings

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Sodium is among the biggest risk factors for gastric cancer, as it damages the lining of the stomach and causes injury. In fact, populations consuming higher amounts of salt have been closely studied for their cancer burden. Some of this research has highlighted a possible association between specific soup-based dishes and a higher incidence of the disease.

In 2012, a Korean study published in the journal Nutrients evaluated the link between different soup-based dishes and the incidence of stomach cancer.

The researchers pointed out that a large number of studies evaluating these dishes – which contribute to high levels of sodium in the diet – and their results are inconsistent.

For their research, a total of 440 cases and 485 controls were recruited to determine how meals containing noodles, dumplings, soups and stews affected cancer risk.

“In our results, a high intake of pasta and dumplings was associated with a significantly increased incidence of gastric cancer,” they wrote.

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The main culprit in these dishes is salt, but another key component is refined carbohydrates, also known as simple or processed carbohydrates, which have essentially been stripped of their nutrients.

Evidence linking carbohydrates to the development of cancer in humans is limited, but epidemiological studies have linked starch intake to two forms of cancer.

“Frequent consumption of starch was associated with a high incidence of gastric cancer in one case-control study and esophageal cancer in another,” explains the National Library of Medicine.

It adds: “However, the evidence is insufficient to allow firm conclusions to be drawn.”


The NHS explains: “Starchy food – such as potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and cereals – should make up just over a third of the food you eat, as shown by the Eatwell Guide.

“Where you can, choose whole-grain varieties and eat potatoes with the skin on for more fiber.”

Healthy starches provide a good source of energy as they contain fiber, calcium, iron and B vitamins.

Certain varieties of starch, such as resistant starch – found in bananas and oats – may even protect against the development of cancer in some cases.

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In people with Lynch syndrome – a rare genetic that increases the risk of cancer – resistant starch can reduce the risk of gastrointestinal cancer by nearly 50%.

A fundamental characteristic of this starch is that it is not digested by the small intestine, but ferments in the large intestine.

In doing so, it helps feed the beneficial gut bacteria, acting similarly to dietary fiber in the digestive system.

Professor John Mathers, Professor of Human Nutrition at Newcastle University, said, who was involved in the study, said: “We found that resistant starch can reduce the development of cancer by altering the chain of bacterial metabolism of bile acids and reducing these types of biliary aids. that damage our DNA and eventually cause cancer.”

On the other hand, other starches, such as simple carbohydrates, are broken down into glucose and other sugar units, causing blood sugar spikes.

In early research published in the journal Gastric Cancer, researchers set out to assess the role of different food groups, as well as broader dietary patterns categorized as “starchy”, “healthy” and “mixed”.

Analysis of different food groups showed increased risks of gastric cancer for rice, salted meat, cooked meat, white bread, potatoes and tubers.

“All three dietary patterns, generated by factor analysis, were significantly associated with gastric carcinoma risk,” the study leaders wrote.

They added: “While starch factors were directly associated with gastric cancer, healthy and mixed patterns were strongly protective.”