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Vegetables and fish reduce colon cancer risk by 43%

One study involved the analysis of thousands of adherents of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This is a good way to reach many vegetarians in a statistically very significant way.

Other studies in the past had come to rather contradicting conclusions about the connection between colon cancer and meat consumption. However, some studies have shown an increased risk of colon cancer with regular consumption of red or processed meat.

Conversely, a high-fiber diet lowered the risk. In the United States, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in both men and women.

Despite the increasing number of colonoscopies (an examination and treatment method) that have made it possible to reduce the mortality rate, this cancer remains a formidable one in industrialized countries ravaged by junk food and the obesity epidemic such as the United States disease states.

The Adventist Church, a “vegetarian church”

The researchers studied about 78,000 members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a large evangelical church with millions of followers around the world that recommends a vegetarian diet for its members.

This Protestant Christian denomination follows to the letter what God recommends in the first chapter of Genesis in verse 29: “I will give you every hardy herb that is upon all the surface of the earth and every tree that bears seed or seed. : this will be your food. You should also know that this church also discourages the consumption of caffeine (especially coffee), tobacco, and alcohol.

The best formula: plants and fish

The researchers followed the participants for 7 years. During this period, 380 people developed colon cancer and 110 developed rectal cancer.

Although all of these participants belong to this Protestant church, some deviated from the rule and sometimes or often ate meat. The participants had to answer a questionnaire every two years in which they describe their eating habits with more than 200 foods.

The scientists then divided the participants into two groups, one with vegetarians and the other with non-vegetarians or part-vegetarians. The end result showed that those who ate a vegetarian diet were 22% less likely to develop colon cancer than those who ate meat. In detail, the risk of colon cancer was reduced by 19% and rectal cancer by 29%.

The research group also observed that those who ate vegetables and fish but no red or white meat had the lowest risk of colon cancer.

This group of people had a 43% lower risk compared to those who ate meat. The risk was actually lower compared to strict vegetarians (no meat or fish consumption).

According to the researchers, the vegetarians participating in the study consumed less soda, sweets and snacks, while eating more fruits, vegetables and seeds than the general population. This could skew the results somewhat.

colon cancer

In fact, scientists still don’t know why a vegetarian diet may lower the risk of colon cancer. In other words, we do not yet know in detail whether substances contained in meat could increase the risk of tumors or, on the contrary, molecules in fruit could have a preventive effect, but it is likely that the fibers have a beneficial preventive effect .

We know from experience that vegetarians, especially members of the Adventist Church, often lead healthier-than-average lifestyles, these fruit and vegetable adherents often exercise more, consume less or no alcohol, and do not smoke than the general population.

A connection between vegetarian diet and colorectal cancer is therefore possible, but not yet a clear causal connection. This study was in the online version of JAMA Internal Medicine.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.

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Colon cancer Eat vegetables and fish without meat Vegetarian diet

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