Eating organic foods reduces your risk of getting cancer

Grant Boone
October 26, 2018

According to CNN, people who consume organic food have a lesser chance of getting non-Hodgkin lymphoma and postmenopausal breast cancer. The European Union's organic label indicates that there are no synthetic fertilizers or chemical pesticides used on the crops, antibiotics are severely restricted, genetically modified organisms are not allowed, and crops are rotated.

But scientists admitted the study did not prove a definitive link between a non-organic diet and cancer - pointing out that richer people tend to be healthier, and are the most likely to choose more expensive organic food.

The researchers used data from the NutriNet-Santé study to examine the eating habits of almost 70,000 French adults. They were monitored based on how often they ate 16 organic products including fruits, vegetables, meat and fish etc.

"Overall fruit and vegetable consumption is good for you, organic or not", she said. The organic food score ranged from zero to 32 points. The most prevalent was breast cancer (34.3%), prostate cancer (13.4%), melanoma and spinocellular carcinoma (10.1%), colorectal cancer (7.4%), NHLs (3.5%), and other lymphomas (1.1%).

A "possible explanation" for the negative relationship between organic food and cancer risk could be from the "significant" reduction of contamination that occurs when conventional foods are replaced by organic ones the authors theorize. The most common was breast cancer which was diagnosed in 459 volunteers. High organic food scores were inversely associated with the overall risk of cancer, study authors said. The French researchers also assumed that the more organic foods a person ate, the lower their exposure to pesticide residue would be. You can imagine that's two very different groups of people.

Should the results be confirmed, organic food may become a part of the general cancer prevention guidelines, as they could significantly lower the rate of new cancer cases.

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"Asking about consumption of organic foods. assesses a behaviour but not the causes of the behaviour", said Dr Jorge Chavarro, co-author of an accompanying editorial and a researcher at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Specifically, Guinter said, this study supports results from a British study that also found an association between organic food consumption and lower risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

"These factors may may have led to a lower cancer incidence herein than the national estimates, as well as higher levels of organic food consumption in our sample". He said, "Assessing intake of diet is hard, assessing intake of organic foods is notoriously hard".

People eat organic for all kinds of reasons.

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

The conclusion is that we should eat more organic food while more studies are needed in order to confirm their efficiency.

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