Does Eating More Organic Foods Cut the Risk of Cancer?

Faith Castro
October 26, 2018

The researchers found that those who stuck with an organic diet were around 25% less likely to develop cancer of any kind, and that the prevalence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma dropped a whopping 73% among organic eaters when compared to those who didn't follow an organic diet.

A team of scientists in France looked at the diets of almost 68,000 people for 4.5 years and found that those who ate primarily organic foods were more likely to ward off certain kinds of cancer than people who rarely, or never, ate organic foods.

Among 68,946 participants (78% female; mean age at baseline, 44.2 years), 1,340 first incident cancer cases were identified during follow-up, with the most prevalent being 459 breast cancers, 180 prostate cancers, 135 skin cancers, 99 colorectal cancers, 47 non-Hodgkin lymphomas, and 15 other lymphomas. According to him, lovers of natural products had the chance of developing cancer by 24 percent lower than consumers supplements.

"If the findings are confirmed, promoting organic food consumption in the general population could be a promising preventive strategy against cancer", the abstract said.

An observational study like this one can't prove that eating organic foods causes fewer cancers, but the results suggest that an organic-based diet could contribute to reduced cancer risk, Baudry said by e-mail.

The organic food questionnaire was also not validated, making it unclear what researchers were actually measuring.

So a team from Inserm, the French equivalent of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, went looking for data.

Organic foods have become increasingly popular over the last decade.

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"It was only a slightly higher risk and that there are more important actions that people can take to make positive changes, [such as] stopping smoking and maintaining a healthy weight", she said.

Dr Baudry said: "The findings, which were weighted for known cancer risk including lifestyle and family history, also revealed that organic diets benefited obese people the most".

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

New cancer study looks at value of organic food consumption.

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

They gave participants scores ranging from a low of 0, for no organic food consumption, to 32 for the highest consumption.

What's "urgently" needed is a more detailed study that would address some of the problems in the French report, according to the commentary.

In the meantime, "concerns over pesticide risks should not discourage intake of conventional fruits and vegetables", they advised.

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