Study Says Organic Food Reduces Cancer Risk

According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, eating organic food was associated with a reduced risk of cancer. Specifically, those who primarily eat organic foods had a reduced risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and postmenopausal breast cancer compared with those who rarely or never ate organic foods. 

This population-based, prospective, cohort study included data from 68,946 French adult volunteers (78% female; mean age at baseline = 44.2 years). Participants reported their consumption frequency of 16 labeled organic foods, including fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, ready-to-eat meals, vegetable oils and condiments, dietary supplements, and other products. They described consumption as never, occasionally, or most of the time. An organic food score was then computed, ranging from zero to 32 points. Patients were followed between May 10, 2009, and November 30, 2016. 

During the study, the researchers observed 1,340 first incident cancer cases, the most common of which were breast cancer (n=459), prostate cancer (n=180), skin cancer (n=135), colorectal cancer (n=99), NHL (n=47), and other lymphomas (n=15).  

High organic food scores were inversely associated with the overall risk of cancer (hazard ratio for quartile 4 vs. quartile 1 = 0.75; 95% CI, 0.63-0.88; P=0.001). Those who ate the most organic food were 25% less likely to develop cancer, and these individuals were 73% less likely to develop NHL and 21% less likely to develop postmenopausal breast cancer. 

“Promoting organic food consumption in the general population could be a promising preventive strategy against cancer,” the researchers concluded. 

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Source: JAMA Internal Medicine