A new study in France is suggesting that people who eat organic foods are less likely to develop cancer compared to those who don’t. A team of researchers studied 70,000 adult volunteers from France. The participants provided information on how often they eat organic food, used dietary supplements, and drank organic drinks. They were all given a score based on the info they provided. Three categories were created such as “most of the time”, “never”, and “I don’t know.”
The researchers then tracked cancer diagnoses among the said individuals over a period of 7 years. They found that people who had higher organic food scores were less likely to be diagnosed with cancer than the rest of the group. For instance, the study found that people who consumed organic foods were 25% less likely to suffer from cancer than those who didn’t. The research was published at the JAMA Internal Medicine journal.
It’s important to keep in mind though that the findings don’t necessarily mean that eating organic food prevents cancer. In addition to this, eating organic food is also not the only reason that makes it less likely for these study participants to develop cancer. There are still other lifestyle and environmental factors that may affect cancer development. The study also contradicts another paper titled the Million Women Study that says that women who eat organic foods have a slightly higher risk of getting breast cancer.
However, the methodology used in the study has some weaknesses according to nutritionists. For instance, the information collected was based on self-reporting. People were simply asked to say how often they ate organic foods. There was no effort by the researchers to track the intake of organic foods in a controlled environment. Self-reporting surveys have been known to have many issues, especially in cases where the responses by study participants cannot be verified.
The nutritionists claim that the method used to measure the consumption of organic food is very shallow. The researchers did acknowledge this and said that the correlation between eating organic food and reduced cancer risk isn’t that clear in the study. Despite this, there’s no doubt that making the right dietary choices can have positive effects on our overall health. Researchers in the French study noted that the paper is not in any way made to influence dietary choices among people. They argued that even though eating organic food has many health benefits, these foods shouldn’t be eaten with the sole purpose of lowering cancer risk.
In addition to this, there was an issue raised that even if organic foods are correlated with reducing the risk of cancer, there will still be challenges in promoting access. Unlike conventional foods, organic foods are more expensive and less readily available. This is part of the reasons why many people around the world haven’t been able to make the switch yet. The French study also tracked the diagnoses of breast cancer. In this case, there was a clear gender bias, especially when you consider that breast cancer affects mostly women. Other cancer diagnoses were tracked too but not to a large extent.