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Yogurt and Dietary Fiber May Reduce Your Lung Cancer Risk

Karen Alexander, Licensed Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

January 21, 2020

Making healthy lifestyle choices, such as avoiding tobacco and eating yogurt and dietary fiber, may help to reduce your risk of developing lung cancer. A recent study revealed that eating high amounts of yogurt and dietary fiber may reduce your lung cancer risk by 30%.

In addition, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) estimates that diets that have high fruit consumption could prevent 36% of US lung cancer cases not caused by tobacco. Also, there is evidence showing that high-dose supplements of beta-carotene can actually increase lung cancer risk. This is one of the reasons AICR does not recommend relying on dietary supplements for cancer prevention and instead, the AICR recommends eating at least five portions a day of a variety of vegetables and fruits.

Reducing Lung Cancer Risk
A recent study published in JAMA Oncology looked at the association of dietary fiber (prebiotics) and yogurt (probiotics) consumption with lung cancer risk. Prebiotics include fiber-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, with indigestible compounds that can be fermented by gut microorganisms. Yogurt is a form of probiotics and can bring health benefits to the body. Researchers found that eating dietary fiber and yogurt was associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer. When consumed together and in high amounts, eating fiber and yogurt showed more than a 30% reduced risk of developing lung cancer in comparison to not eating fiber and yogurt.

Further Studies Needed
Although this study is promising, more research is needed to show how fiber and yogurt may reduce the risk of developing lung cancer. Meanwhile, we can be certain of the general benefits of consuming prebiotics and probiotics as part of a healthy diet, which includes reduced risks of metabolic disorders, cardiovascular diseases, gastrointestinal cancers, and reduced inflammation, among others.

The recipe of the week: Acai Yogurt Bowl


  • 1 packet frozen acai puree
  • 1 banana
  • 1/3 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Brazil nuts or walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • ½ sliced kiwi
  • 3 strawberries


In a blender, puree 1 packet frozen acai puree, 1/2 banana, 1/3 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt, and 2 tbsp orange juice until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into a bowl and top with another 1/2 banana, sliced, 2 tbsp chopped Brazil nuts, blueberries, slices of kiwi and strawberries, and 1-2 tsp ground flaxseed.

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