Organic food may protect against cancers finds study

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Specifically, the study of the diets of almost 70,000 French adults shows those who primarily eat organic foods were more likley to ward off non-Hodgkin lymphoma and postmenopausal breast cancer compared with those who rarely or never eat organic food.

Scientists for 4.5 years studied the eating habits of the volunteers and classified them depending on how often the study participants ate organic foods: meat, fish, ready-to-eat products, sweets, etc.

Although researchers drew their findings based on organic food frequency rather than volume, Dr. Baudry says that their data suggest that the participants who consumed the most organic food tended to have diets that were comprised of at least 50 percent organic items. The latest research confirmed another popular trend: organic products reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer!

"If you look at the evidence overall, and not just at this study", he says, "you're much better off having a healthy diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables - even if they do not happen to be organic - than worrying about whether your fruits and vegetables are organic". Most of these were breast cancer (459 cases).

The study authors ranked the volunteers according to how frequently they ate organic foods and divided them into four equally sized groups.

After adjusting for confounders, the authors reported that high organic food scores were linearly and negatively associated with the overall risk of cancer (HR for Q4 versus Q1, 0.75, 95% CI 0.63-0.88, P=0.001 for trend).

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In the USA, more than 9 out of 10 people have measurable amounts of pesticides in their urine or their blood, and these concentrations are known to fall when people switch from conventionally produced foods to organic ones.

Baudry is a researcher at the Center of Research in Epidemiology and Statistics Sorbonne Paris Cité of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research.

The results were most prominent for cases of postmenopausal breast cancer and lymphomas - specifically non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL). In particular, the risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer was reduced by 73% and 21% respectively.

Its authors write that concerns about pesticide residue shouldn't discourage people from eating more fruit and vegetables, regardless of how they're grown. Bean sprouts and soy are also good anti-cancer food.

Previous studies have found that pesticide residue is more prevalent on conventionally grown produce than on its organic counterparts.

"Therefore, choosing organic versus non-organic foods will not necessarily capture actual exposure to pesticides, and other chemicals, without knowing the specific foods chosen as organic or conventional", Chavarro stated.

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