Eating two portions of whole grains a day could almost halve the risk of developing pancreatic cancer, says new research.

A study of more than 2,000 men and women, 532 of whom had pancreatic cancer, revealed those who ate at least two helpings of whole grains a day - the equivalent of two slices of wholemeal bread - were 40% less likely to develop the disease than those who ate less than one portion.

The study, carried out by the University of California, San Francisco, also noted that those who ate more than 0.9oz (26.5g) of fibre a day were 35% less likely to deve-lop pancreatic cancer than those who ate less than 0.6oz (15.6g).

However, eating more refined and sweetened grains, such as two or more servings of doughnuts a week, was found to raise the risk of pancreatic cancer.