Posted on Apr 29, 2015, 6 a.m.
A vegetarian diet may lower a person’s risk of colorectal cancer.
The second leading cause of cancer deaths in the US, colorectal cancer is a disease that may be influenced by dietary choices. Michael J. Orlich, from Loma Linda University (California, USA), and colleagues analyzed data collected on a group of 77,659 participants in the Adventist Health Study 2 (AHS-2). Diet was assessed via questionnaire, with subjects categorized into 1 of 4 vegetarian dietary patterns (vegan, lacto-ovo vegetarian, pescovegetarian, and semivegetarian); or a nonvegetarian dietary pattern. During a mean follow-up of 7.3 years, 380 cases of colon cancer and 110 cases of rectal cancer were identified. Vegetarians had a 22% lower risk for all colorectal cancers, 19% lower risk for colon cancer and 29% lower risk for rectal cancer, as compared to nonvegetarians,. More specifically, vegans had a 16% lower risk of colorectal cancer, lacto-ovo (eat milk and eggs) vegetarians 18% less risk, pescovegetarians (eat fish) 43% less, and semivegetarians 8% less risk. Observing that: “Vegetarian diets are associated with an overall lower incidence of colorectal cancers,” the study authors submit that: “If such associations are causal, they may be important for primary prevention of colorectal cancers.”
Orlich MJ, Singh PN, Sabate J, Fan J, Sveen L, Bennett H, Knutsen SF, Beeson WL, Jaceldo-Siegl K, Butler TL, Herring RP, Fraser GE. “V egetarian Dietary Patterns and the Risk of Colorectal Cancers.” JAMA Intern Med. 2015 Mar 9.