The Study: So it’s not uncommon for patients to be less than satisfied with our generic diet and exercise counselling during and after cancer treatment. Here we have another interesting look at how diet impacted colon cancer outcomes in a large trial. We’re talking, of course, about the prolific CALGB 89803 that has reported many interesting dietary associations. In this iteration, the authors used patient-reported food intake to calculate the food insulin index (FII), a measure of how insulinogenic a particular food is. This is distinct from glycogenic, so the FII doesn’t necessarily match the carbohydrate content. The rationale is that insulin, more than glucose, may have important effects on cell signalling cascades that could enhance tumor growth or survival. As you might expect, higher insulin load was associated with increased risk of disease recurrence and death. Interestingly, the effects of insulin load were independent of amount and type of food consumed. How do the tree nuts fare? With a very low FII, of course.
Bottom Line: Educating patients on the science surrounding the food insulin index may help them better rationalize how their diet can impact cancer outcomes. | Morales-Oyarvide, J Natl Cancer Inst 2019