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Dec 18

Vegetarians Have Lower Risk of Cancer than Meat-Eaters, Finds Study

saladA study of over 60,000 people published online by the National Institute of Health, and published in-print by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has found that the percentage of vegetarians with cancer is drastically lower than the percentage of meat-eaters with cancer, indicating that a vegetarian diet can protect against the disease.

According the researchers, the study’s objective was to; “The objective was to describe cancer incidence in vegetarians and nonvegetarians in a large sample in the United Kingdom.” They used a “pooled analysis of 2 prospective studies including 61,647 British men and women comprising 32,491 meat eaters, 8612 fish eaters, and 20,544 vegetarians (including 2246 vegans).”

Cancer incidence was followed through nationwide cancer registries. Cancer risk by vegetarian status was estimated by using multivariate Cox proportional hazards models.

“After an average follow-up of 14.9 y, there were 4998 incident cancers: 3275 in meat eaters (10.1%), 520 in fish eaters (6.0%), and 1203 in vegetarians (5.9%)”, the study states. This shows that vegetarians were 42% less likely to have cancer.

The study continues (and here the language gets quite technical, but the key point is that vegetarians had a reduced risk of numerous types of cancer); “There was significant heterogeneity between dietary groups in risks of the following cancers: stomach cancer [RRs (95% CIs) compared with meat eaters: 0.62 (0.27, 1.43) in fish eaters and 0.37 (0.19, 0.69) in vegetarians; P-heterogeneity = 0.006], colorectal cancer [RRs (95% CIs): 0.66 (0.48, 0.92) in fish eaters and 1.03 (0.84, 1.26) in vegetarians; P-heterogeneity = 0.033], cancers of the lymphatic and hematopoietic tissue [RRs (95% CIs): 0.96 (0.70, 1.32) in fish eaters and 0.64 (0.49, 0.84) in vegetarians; P-heterogeneity = 0.005], multiple myeloma [RRs (95% CIs): 0.77 (0.34, 1.76) in fish eaters and 0.23 (0.09, 0.59) in vegetarians; P-heterogeneity = 0.010], and all sites combined [RRs (95% CIs): 0.88 (0.80, 0.97) in fish eaters and 0.88 (0.82, 0.95) in vegetarians; P-heterogeneity = 0.0007].”

The study concludes: “In this British population, the risk of some cancers is lower in fish eaters and vegetarians than in meat eaters.”

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Population Health, can be found by clicking here.

About the author Anthony Martinelli

Anthony Martinelli is the Editor and co-founder of TheVeganHerald.com. He also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog.com, a cannabis news and information website.

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