Does Eating Organic Food Lower Your Cancer Risk?


We spoke with Kelly Hogan, MS, RD, about the recent JAMA study on the association between organic food consumption and cancer risk.

There are few studies available that assess the association between eating an organic food diet and cancer risk. However, the results of a recent cohort study indicated that French adults who consumed a higher amount of organic food experienced a reduced risk of cancer.

Kelly Hogan, MS, RD, Head of Clinical Nutrition and Wellness at Dubin Breast Center at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, who was not involved in the research, spoke with CAncestor network on the results of this study. “Study subjects consuming a large amount of organic food also ate more fruits and vegetables, were well educated, and engaged in other health-promoting behaviors. These factors can also have a risk reducing effect with regard to cancer. According to research to date, the nutritional value of organic and non-organic products does not differ significantly. Due to the lack of research on organic foods and cancer risk to date and the limitations of this study, the benefits of a diet with enough fruits and vegetables continue to be an important dietary factor to advocate for, which l food is organic or not. ,” she said.

The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, included 68,946 participants, rating their reports on the frequency of consumption of 16 organic food products (“never”, “occasionally” or “most of the time”) from May 2009 to November 2016. The researchers then calculated a score for organic food. Almost 80% of the participants were women (78.0%), with an average age of 44.2 years.

“We don’t know why there was such a high proportion of female participants. A more useful study design could either separate by gender or include both sexes more equally, ”Hogan noted.

However, the researchers noted this limitation in their study and explained that most of the volunteers were “probably particularly health conscious individuals, thus limiting the generalizability of our results.” The participants in NutriNet-Santé are more often women, are well educated and exhibit healthier behaviors compared to the general French population. These factors may have led to a lower cancer incidence than national estimates, as well as higher levels of organic food consumption in our sample, ”said the researchers led by Julia Baudry, PhD, of the Center for Research in Canada. epidemiology and statistics Sorbonne. Paris City.

During the study follow-up period, 1,340 primary cancers were reported, including breast cancer (n = 459), prostate cancer (n = 180), skin cancers (n = 135), colorectal cancer (n = 99), non-Hodgkin lymphomas (n = 47), and other lymphomas (n = 15). Researchers reported an inverse association with overall cancer risk in people with high organic food scores, with an absolute risk reduction of 0.6%.

These data, which require confirmation, may provide insight into cancer prevention strategies that use the consumption of organic foods to reduce cancer risk in the general population.

“The last thing people at risk for cancer or the general population need is an unnecessary fear of eating non-organic foods, and I don’t think any recommendations can or should be changed based on these findings. This study is extremely limited and much research still needs to be done on this topic to inform changes to the current recommendations, ”Hogan concluded.


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