Eating organic foods cuts cancer risk, study suggests

Organic food contains fewer pesticides than nonorganic food

Organic food contains fewer pesticides than nonorganic food

Dr. Shepard points out that people who eat organic foods al so have the tendency to eat healthier diets and exercise more, which are also traits that have been associated with reduced cancer risk.

To arrive at the findings, Baudry and her colleagues analysed data from almost 69,000 people taking part in an ongoing French study of the associations between nutrition and health.

"Overall fruit and vegetable consumption is good for you, organic or not", she said. This was then translated into an organic scorecard, with scores ranging from 0-32, to distinguish frequent and infrequent organic consumers.

Among the participants, 1,340 first incident cancer cases were identified during the study's follow-up period. Breast cancer appeared had the highest occurrence rate with a total number of 459 cases, followed by prostate cancer with 180 cases and skin cancer at 135 cases. "It is unclear what the intended exposure, organic food consumption, was actually measuring", the author said.

"We did expect to find a reduction, but the extent of the reduction is quite important", said Julia Baudry, the study's lead author.

In an audio interview, Chavarro noted that one of the most compelling aspects of the study was study consistency with others' reported findings. "And it would be premature to make organic food consumption recommendations based just on this study". This revealed that the people who ate organic food most often had higher incomes, more education and higher-status jobs. He said, "Assessing intake of diet is hard, assessing intake of organic foods is notoriously hard".

When they considered each type of cancer separately, they found that only three had a statistically significant association with organic food consumption.

Organic food contains fewer pesticides than nonorganic food, though in the United States, these products may still be exposed to natural and some synthetic pesticides that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) allows in products with a USDA-certified organic label, according to the Mayo Clinic. And, different conventional foods are more "dirty" (contaminated with pesticides) than others, he said, so eating certain organic foods does a better job of protecting us against ingesting pesticides than others. The study doesn't separate people that don't eat organic foods for a particular reason, as they are rolled into one group.

Doctors say more research needs to be done to look at the specific role that organic food may play in cancer prevention. "The benefits of consuming conventionally grown produce are likely to outweigh the possible risks from pesticide exposure".

Researchers say that pesticides in conventional fruit and vegetables can cause cancer, suggesting that going organic helps to prevent the disease.

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