Surprisingly, the answer seems to be yes. More precisely in this day and age of being careful what we say, a 2012 study shows that a vegan diet may reduce the risk of cancer. It gets better. I’ll get back to that in a minute, but first you may want to know where I’m getting this.
In November 2012, four researchers published a study on PubMed.gov, Vegetarian diets and the incidence of cancer in a low-risk population. Comparing the diets of more than 69,000 participants (all part of a larger research project known as “Adventist Health Study-2“) to the national cancer registry, the researchers looked for a correlation between those diets and cancer, if any. In their study sample (again 69,000 people), they identified five diet types as follows.
The abstract for the study doesn’t define these types, but we can get a pretty good idea, don’t you think? The researchers found that, in the sample population, nearly three thousand had cancer “incidents,” as they dubbed them. Their conclusions surprised me. I wonder if they will surprise you.
Study finds vegetarian and vegan diets may help prevent cancer
“Vegetarian diets seem to confer protection against cancer,” the researchers conclude in their abstract, linked above. But it’s this statement that really tells a story.
Vegan diet seems to confer lower risk for overall and female-specific cancer than other dietary patterns. The lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets seem to confer protection from cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.
Not only do the study results indicate a correlation between a vegan diet and lower risk for cancer in both male and female patients. A vegan diet may be especially helpful in reducing the risk of breast and other “female-specific” cancers.
Now, do I really need that bacon? Probably not, and I will admit it’s been months since I last had any, although I did have pepperoni on a pizza just last week. While we’ve reduced our meat and dairy consumption drastically in the last several years, we’re still flexitarians here at Chez Grace.
That makes me especially glad to see that a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet may help prevent cancer in the gastrointestinal tract, since I seem no where near close to going full-on vegan, though I’m slowly wending my way toward the idea.
What do you think?
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