Cut Cancer Risk: Eat Organic

By Editorial Staff

While the nutritional benefits of organic vs. conventional foods continue to be debated, one fact seems clear: If you eat organic foods, you're less likely to be exposed to the pesticides and other chemical products conventional farmers commonly spray on their crops. And less exposure to pesticides is generally a good thing, particularly since pesticides are increasingly linked to adverse health outcomes – including cancer.

Yes, we said it: the dreaded "C" word. Fortunately, research suggests people who consume organic foods are less likely to develop cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma and postmenopausal breast cancer. According to the latest study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, participants who ate the most organic food were 25 percent less likely to develop cancer compared to people who rarely or never ate organic food. Relative to non-Hodgkin lymphoma and postmenopausal breast cancer, the reduced risk from frequent consumption of organic food compared to little or no consumption was 73 percent and 21 percent, respectively.

Researchers conducting the study evaluated cancer risk based on consumption of 16 organic products, including fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, ready-to-eat meals, vegetable oils and condiments, dietary supplements and other products. While a direct cause for a higher cancer rate in study participants who rarely or never ate organic foods was not determined, the researchers speculated – as we suggested at the beginning of this article – that pesticides and other contaminants present on non-organic foods may play a role. Talk to your doctor to learn more about the health benefits of going organic!

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