Everybody should know that something bad happens to our bodies when we eat processed food too often. If people pay attention they can more or less physically gauge the effects of that food on the body in comparison to food that isn’t nutritionally bankrupt.

A couple years ago a study was performed that provided a little evidence to back up the common intuition that processed food isn’t good for you. Some people need extremely quantifiable mainstream evidence to verify what others know through basic observation and intuition.

In this study, 20 people residing in the rural areas of South Africa traded diets with 20 Americans who regularly eat fast food, at the request of researchers.

In just 14 days, a “remarkable” change in the body chemistry of the South Africans was recorded. Researchers report that certain biomarkers indicative of colon cancer risk rapidly appeared in the people who started consuming American food after being used to a South African diet.

Image credit: Ilo

However on the bright side, the study reported that Americans who ate this kind of cancer causing diet their entire lives experienced a rapidly improving condition upon changing their diet to this fibrous rural South African cuisine for only a brief period of time.

“In just two weeks, a change in diet from a Westernised composition to a traditional African high-fibre, low-fat diet reduced these biomarkers of cancer risk, indicating that it is likely never too late to modify the risk of colon cancer,” American lead researcher for the study, Stephen O’Keefe of the University of Pittsburgh said to The Age reporter Sarah Berry.

They say the study was conceived of when researchers observed the fact that rural South Africans have what they calculate to be a rate of colon cancer 13 times greater than that of African Americans.

It was already fairly evident that a diet of fast food, and other factors that are rarely ever mentioned must be the cause of the health differential between Africans and African Americans. They believe that one factor in this is the fact that an American diet is high in animal fat and protein, and low in fiber.

People who know about natural health could debate these details, but they seem fairly accurate. One understated factor in the study may be carcinogenic chemicals or preservatives in food.

Image: Reset

The members of the study consisted of 20 middle aged, healthy volunteers from various communities. Under what they describe as close supervision, a two week “food swap” was performed.

According to Science Alert:

“During this time, the Americans ate low-fat, high-fibre diets, while the South Africans ate low-fibre, high-fat diets, heavy on burgers and fries.

Before and after, the researchers measured important biomarkers that indicate colon cancer risk, including the presence of mucus and bile in their colons.”

This was all reported in the journal Nature Communications. Reading from the original study:

“The food changes resulted in remarkable reciprocal changes in mucosal biomarkers of cancer risk and in aspects of the microbiota and metabolome known to affect cancer risk.”

This is a small scale and brief study, but people should ask: why does it seem like no big institutions or corporations are willing to pour money into studies that test the safety of products in a critical manner? I think we all know the answer to that.


Image credit: Ilo, Reset