Epidemiological data have provided clues to the etiological factors involved in large bowel cancer development. High intake of dietary fat tends to promote colon carcinogenesis. Studies in metabolic epidemiology have shown that the high dietary fat affects the metabolic activity of gut bacteria as well as the levels of secondary bile acids that may act as tumor promoters for the colon. Animal model studies indicate that total dietary fat, rather than type of fat, exerts a promoting role in colon carcinogenesis.

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Presented at the Workshop on Fat and Cancer, December 10 to 12, 1979, Bethesda, Md. Supported by USPHS Contracts CP95604 and CP85659, and Grants CA12376, CA17613, and 16382 through the National Large Bowel Cancer Project from the National Cancer Institute.

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