Eating Organic Foods Can Help Cut Cancer Risk, New Study Finds

Organic food contains fewer pesticides than nonorganic food

People who regularly eat organic food are less likely to develop cancer than those who don't, according to a new study out of France. For the objective of the study, the researchers first analyzed the diets of more than 68,000 participants for almost four-and-a-half years and then observed how their health was impacted over several years.

By the follow-up, 1,340 cancers had developed, including the following, which were the most prevalent: 459 breast cancers, 180 prostate cancers, 135 skin cancers, 99 colorectal cancers, 47 non-Hodgkin lymphomas, and 15 other lymphomas. They found that those who ate organic food most frequently saw their risk of developing cancer go down by 25 percent compared with their peers. High organic food scores were inversely associated with the overall risk of cancer, study authors said.

And yet the authors do not put hard to equate the consumption of organic products and the prevention of cancer.

First, the data is observational - it observes an association between higher intake of organic foods and a lower risk of cancer, but can't prove the former directly causes the latter. The French researchers also assumed that the more organic foods a person ate, the lower their exposure to pesticide residue would be.

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 organic industry has exploded, with the popularity of stores like Whole Foods.

Dr Baudry said: "The findings, which were weighted for known cancer risk including lifestyle and family history, also revealed that organic diets benefited obese people the most".

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Dr Jorge Chavarro from the Harvard School of Public Health has analysed the results.

Those who ate more organic food were also more likely to have higher incomes, job status and education level. While organic produce is oftentimes more expensive, the outcomes of this study suggest that it may be worth the extra cost - particularly for women in later life.

New cancer study looks at value of organic food consumption.

Organic food contains fewer pesticides than nonorganic food, though in the United States, these products may still be exposed to natural and some synthetic pesticides that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) allows in products with a USDA-certified organic label, according to the Mayo Clinic.

What's "urgently" needed is a more detailed study that would address some of the problems in the French report, according to the commentary.

Based on what we know about the potential sources of pesticide residues and residues that you might avoid by consuming organic foods, the balance doesn't break even for the organics.

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