Coconut fiber: a potential cancer fighter source

Source: FNRI Digest

Diets that are low in fat and high in fiber have been associated with decreased risk of colon cancer. In answer to a previous news article of an epidemiological study on the effect of dietary fiber on colon cancer by Fucks, et. al., it was noted that “not all fiber sources are alike in reducing cancer risk”.

A good balance of solubility and fermentability character-istics determines the effective-ness of dietary fiber as colon cancer protective agents. If the fiber is soluble and fermented, the bacteria in the colon will break it into short chain fatty acids.

Butyrate, a short chain fatty acid produced in the colon, is used as food of the bacteria and prevents multiplication of cells that will result in tumor formation and cancer.

The Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), in collaboration with the Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and Development (PCIERD), also of the DOST, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), and the Philippine Institute of Pure and Applied Chemists (PIPAC), is conducting a project on the “Development of Functional Foods from Coconut Fiber”.

Coconut flesh refuse or “sapal”, a waste product abounding in the Philippines, is a potential source of fiber. When made into flour and incorporated to foods, it can increase the fiber content of the product and may help meet the requirements for fiber intake.

There is a need to evaluate the fiber content of coconut flour and its potential for reducing colon cancer risk.#