Organic Food Tied to Lower Cancer Risk, Study Finds

A farm stand array of fall fruits and vegetables

Scientists from the National Institute of health and medical research (France) conducted a large-scale cohort study that lasted five years, which showed that organic food reduces cancer risk, but not much. The participants, all volunteers, were then categorized into four groups depending on how often they reported eating 16 organic products, including fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, ready-to-eat meals, vegetable oils and condiments, dietary supplements and other products.

Pesticides linked to cancer include the weed killer glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup, and the organophosphate pesticides malathion and diazinon.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer also found that pesticides are causing cancer in humans.

They would monitor these volunteers to make sure they were keeping to their assigned diets and observe the other things they do that could influence their cancer risk.

"Our findings revealed a negative association between high organic food scores and postmenopausal breast cancer, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, and all lymphomas".

You can protect yourself from cancer by eating organic, a new study suggests.

"The main obstacle to purchasing organic food are high prices", say the authors of the study. In such a situation, it is natural to have more awareness of organic food than in general.

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"This is a very difficult area to study, and it's very hard to accurately assess habitual consumption of organic food", says Frank B. Hu, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the department of nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and author of an independent commentary that accompanies the study.

The most common was 459 breast cancers, followed by 180 prostate cancers, 135 skin cancers, 99 colorectal cancers, 47 non-Hodgkin lymphomas, and 15 other lymphomas. Specifically, they are 73 percent less likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma and 21 percent less likely to be diagnosed with post-menopause breast cancer.

Those who ate more organic food were also more likely to have higher incomes, job status and education level.

"A decrease of 25 per cent of cancers among high organic consumers compared with low organic consumers". "It is unclear what the intended exposure, organic food consumption, was actually measuring", the author said.

When they considered each type of cancer separately, they found that only three had a statistically significant association with organic food consumption.

However, Chavarro added that researchers designing future studies should be mindful of certain limitations in this new study.

She explained among the environmental risk factors for cancer there was growing evidence of a link between exposure to pesticides notably in farm workers and cancer development.


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