Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Vegetarian diet may protect against colorectal cancer

CANCER DIGEST – March 9, 2015 – Going vegetarian has been a growing trend over the last few decades for a variety of reasons. If you are looking at the pros and cons of eschewing chewy protein, a new study suggests you can add lower risk of colorectal cancers to the pro side of the list, according to a study in the Mar. 9, 2015 JAMA Internal Medicine.

The dietary patterns of 77,659 Seventh-Day Adventist men and women were analyzed over a 5-month period from June 2014 and October 2014. An estimated 35 percent of Adventists practice vegetarianism, according to a 2002 worldwide survey of local church leaders. The researchers led by Dr. Michael Orlich, of the School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California, categorized four vegetarian diets, including vegan, (no animal consumption),
lacto-ovo vegetarian, (eating dairy and eggs), and pecovegetarian (includes fish), and semivegetarian (includes occasional meat consumption).

Overall they identified 380 cases of colon cancer and 110 cases of rectal cancer. Compared with nonvegetarians, vegetarians had a 22 percent lower risk for all colorectal cancers, 19 percent lower risk for colon cancer and 29 percent lower risk for rectal cancer. 

Among the vegetarian groups the pescovegetarians (fish-eating) had a 43 percent lower risk compared to nonvegetarians. The risk was18 percent lower for lacto-ovo (milk and eggs) vegetarians compared to nonvegetarians, while semivegetarians had an 8 percent lower risk.

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