Eating Organic Reduces Cancer Risk
Consuming organic foods can significantly reduce our risk of contracting cancer according to medical scientists.
Organic foods have been found to taste better according to some research. And they have been found to contain more vitamins and minerals according to others. Still other studies have shown that organic foods provide a significant increase in antioxidants and other medicinal elements in plants.
Are all of these connected? Quite possibly. Let’s review that after taking a look at this 2018 study on organics and cancer.
Cancer studied over 7 years
The study was published on October 22, 2918 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers were from France’s government research institution INSERM (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research) and the University of Paris.
The researchers conducted a population study of 68,946 middle-aged adults from France. The participants reported on how much organic food they consumed, of 16 typical food groups. The researchers also conducted intake records that tested their daily food consumption.
Then the researchers followed the population for seven years, from mid-2009 through late 2016.
The researchers measured the number of cancer diagnoses through this period and compared this with the amount of organic food that was consumed by each person.
The most prevalent cancers among the population were breast cancer, then prostate cancer, then skin cancers, colorectal cancers, and lymphomas.
The researchers found that a greater frequency of organic food consumption reduced the incidence of cancer by an average of 25 percent. Moderate organic consumers also had a lower cancer incidence.
However, organic food consumers also had 76 percent lower incidence of lymphomas, and 86 percent lower incidence of non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas.
Organic food consumers also saw their incidence of breast cancer reduced by 34 percent.
The researchers eliminated risks related to alcohol use, smoking, family cancer history, weight and relative exercise rates.
Why organic reduces cancer incidence
As mentioned above, other research has shown that organic foods tend to have more vitamins and minerals and more phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are compounds in plant foods that stimulate the immune system and also help the body detoxify.
Some plant chemicals also reduce the ability of cancer cells to metastasize.
These are certainly enough, but they aren’t the only reasons organic foods can reduce the risk of cancer.
A number of chemical pesticides and herbicides have been linked to cancer incidence. Because organic foods will contain fewer chemical pesticides and herbicides, consumers can see their cancer risk going down.
A 2014 study from Stanford University researchers analyzed 240 studies on organic foods and found that studies showed reduced urinary pesticide levels, including two among children. The researchers found that pesticide residues were significantly lower among those who ate organic foods.
Besides that, as also reported, organic foods tend to taste better.
The only downside is cost. Yes, the prices for organics can be significantly higher than conventional foods. But the more we each purchase organic, the more prices can come down as more farmers will switch to organic production. This has become evident over the past few years as organic food consumption has increased.
Baudry J, Assmann KE, Touvier M, Allès B, Seconda L, Latino-Martel P, Ezzedine K, Galan P, Hercberg S, Lairon D, Kesse-Guyot E. Association of Frequency of Organic Food Consumption With Cancer Risk Findings From the NutriNet-Santé Prospective Cohort Study. JAMA Intern Med. Published online October 22, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.4357.
Smith-Spangler C, Brandeau ML, Hunter GE, Bavinger JC, Pearson M, Eschbach PJ, Sundaram V, Liu H, Schirmer P, Stave C, Olkin I, Bravata DM. Are organic foods safer or healthier than conventional alternatives?: a systematic review. Ann Intern Med. 2012 Sep 4;157(5):348-66. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-157-5-201209040-00007.