Organic consumption associated with lower cancer risk: French study

A farm stand array of fall fruits and vegetables

The participants were asked to provide information on how often they ate organic food, drinks, and even dietary supplements.

Overall, by an average of 4.5 years after the surveys were completed, participants developed 1,340 new cancers.

There was also a reduced risk for lymphomas, plus prostate, skin and colorectal cancers for people who eat mostly organic.

The researchers noted that while the study does not prove an organic diet causes a reduction in cancers, it suggests that an organic-based diet could contribute to reducing cancer risk.

The authors say, although organic foods are less likely to contain pesticide residues than conventional foods, few studies have examined the association of organic food consumption with cancer risk.

However, looking at specific sites, "we found that the negative association was the case for all lymphomas, as well as for postmenopausal breast cancer, but we did not find any association with any other cancer sites", Baudry stated. In absolute terms, this translated into about a 0.6 percent lower risk of cancer.

"Although our findings need to be confirmed, promoting organic food consumption in the general population could be a promising preventive strategy against cancer".

For this study, Baudry and her colleagues analyzed data from almost 69,000 people taking part in an ongoing French study of the associations between nutrition and health.

"What we haven't been sure of is why - whether this is simply because a taller person has more cells in their body, or whether there's an indirect link, such as something to do with nutrition and childhood", added Hill, who was not involved in the study. According to the tenders, most of the people in the study were less fat, non-smoker and less alcohol consumption.

"Assessing intake of diet is hard, assessing intake of organic foods is notoriously hard", said Chavarro. In such a situation, it is natural to have more awareness of organic food than in general. "So, anytime people can incorporate more fruits and vegetables, minimize processed foods, the better", says Dr. Shepard. "Especially for those items, choosing organics is better for health as well as for the environment".

"Exposure to pesticide has been associated with higher cancer risk" in previous studies, Baudry said.

"The methodology is good - they took data from large studies, which is important, and they looked at lots of different categories of cancer".

"At the current stage of research, the relationship between organic food consumption and cancer risk is still unclear", the Harvard researchers wrote. Then on the basis of another questionnaire on diet, the authors divided respondents into four groups: those who prefer organic food, to those who do not pay attention to artificial additives.

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