Can Organic Eating Reduce Your Chances of Cancer?

Most people who make the big switch from conventional products to organic ones are convinced of the benefits organically grown produce adds to their diet. However, none of it was clinically proven, until now. A recent study conducted in France has revealed that organic eating can reduce the chances of developing cancer by as much as 25%. 

The study

The researchers recruited 68,946 volunteers who were 44 years of age. About 78% of these volunteers were women. The participants provided detailed information about how frequently they consumed different types of organic foods, including fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and eggs, dairy and soy products, grains and legumes, flour, oils and condiments, bread and cereals, wine, coffee and teas, biscuits and chocolate and sugar, and even dietary supplements. 

The participants provided detailed descriptions of their intake, including portion sizes. The researchers also enquired the volunteers about their education, occupation, income, general health status and lifestyle choices such as smoking and alcohol consumption, and the level of weekly physical activity.

The big revelation

After observing the participants for a period of five years, it was found that the people consuming organic food had 25% fewer occurrences of cancer as compared to the ones who never consumed organic food.

Most organic consumers preferred buying from organic food store online since it saved them much time. These people ate organic vegetables, fruits, meat, dairy products, and other foods. Their dietary pattern led to a steep drop in the occurrence of lymphomas and also a significant reduction in postmenopausal breast cancers. 

Surprised researchers

The amount of cancer-immunity resulted from the consumption of organic produce left the researchers surprised. The study’s lead author and a researcher with the Center of Research in Epidemiology and Statistics Sorbonne Paris Cité of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, Julia Baudry said that while the team expected some reduction, the extent that turned up during the study is important and surprising for them.

Baudry also noted that while the study does not prove that an organic diet prevents cancer, it suggests that the consumption of organic produce could contribute to reducing the risk of cancer. From the evidence the study has found in favour of organic food, the study is expected to open up new avenues for research.

The British did it the first

Back in 2014, Britain had also conducted a study regarding the connection of organic food consumption and a reduction in cancer risk. The authors of the study found that more educated women preferred purchasing from organic food store online. However, they were not able to find any evidence about whether the consumption of organic food helped reduce the probability of developing cancer.

In contrast to the French study, the one by the British required the participants to answer only one question about how often they ate organic food. The study had found that while the wealthier and more educated women preferred organic food, they also had risk factors that increase the risk of breast cancer, such as higher alcohol consumption and having fewer children.

The boom in the organic food market

The recent years have seen the organic food market has been growing in recent years, both in Europe and the United States. As per the findings of a survey conducted by the Organic Trade Association in 2018, the sales of organic food increased to $45.2 billion in the United States alone.

Evidence supporting organic food’s ability to help prevent cancer might find its roots in the fact that organic farming involves zero use of harmful fertilisers, insecticides, and pesticides. For food to be certified organic, the product must be grown without the use of most synthetic fertilisers and pesticides and may not contain genetically modified organisms. 

Organic meat receives its certification only if it is produced by raising animals fed organic food without the use of hormones or antibiotics. Such food items now represent 5.5% of all food sold in retail outlets.

With the recent findings of the study by the French researchers, it is expected that more researchers would attempt to establish a connection between eating organic and reduction in the risk of cancer.

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