Headline: Organic Food Linked to Less Cancer

My patients often tell me that organic food is too expensive so they prefer to buy the conventional kind. 

A Los Angeles Times article dated October 28, 2018 reported a study of almost 70,000 French adults over an average of 4.5 years. The statistics showed that the people who ate the most organic foods were “less likely to develop certain kinds of cancer than the people who ate the least.” While there was some criticism of the study, the researchers wrote that the results were such that more studies would be appropriate to validate the results as well as investigate more fully the “potential protective effects” of a diet of organic foods.

The factors that seemed most significant were these:  Pesticides, in particular glyphosate, malathion and diazinon, were detected in lesser amounts in organic food. Rules prohibit synthetic pesticides for organic use. Organic farming generally allows certain soaps and hydrogen peroxide to be used on organic food.

Previous studies have shown that the amount of pesticides in urine or blood diminishes when the subjects ate organic foods regularly.

Of note, the volunteer subjects who most frequently ate organic foods also were more likely to practice other habits that are associated with reduced risk of cancer. These are exercise, stopping smoking, and eating more healthful foods such as vegetables and fruit.  One example which was statistically significant had to do with menopausal breast cancer. The women who ate organically more often were 34% less likely to have menopausal breast cancer.

Organic food eaters were 86% less likely to have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Also those who ate the organic food most often were 76% less likely to get any form of lymphoma.

One of the comments from other scientists was that people should not stop eating conventional fruits and vegetables if they cannot get organic. Previous studies show that eating even conventional kinds, are a way to reduce your risk of cancer.  I recommend eating a variety of vegetables, especially green leafy ones.

About Cathie Lippman, M.D.

I invite you to visit my website: http://www.cathielippmanmd.com/
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