Vegetarian diet reduces risk of colorectal cancer: Study

A new study by scientists from the Loma Linda University has revealed that vegetarians are at lower risk of developing colorectal cancer than non-vegetarians.

The study claimed that a vegetarian diet offers significant protection against cancers of the colon and rectum, which is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States after lung cancer.

The findings emerged from the university's multimillion-dollar Adventist Health Study-2 investigation that links diet to specific forms of cancer.

The study led by Dr. Michael Orlich, a specialist in family and preventative medicine, also claimed that pescovegetarians or vegetarians who eat fish had a 43% lower risk of colon or rectal cancer than non-vegetarians.

For the study, the researchers recruited the participants from Seventh Day Adventist Churches and organizations. The church advocates a healthy diet and lifestyle and discourages the consumption of meat. The meat eaters included in the study consumed only an average of 2 ounces of meat per day.

The study tracked the food questionnaires and medical records of 77,659 Seventh-day Adventists over seven years. The findings revealed that vegetarians were 22% less likely to develop colorectal cancers than non- vegetarians.

Out of those, vegans were 16% less at risk of cancer, and lacto-ovo vegetarians, who eat milk and eggs, were 18% less at risk. The least at risk of the vegetarian groups were the pescovegetarians with only 43% risk.

Dr. Orlich said, "The balance of scientific evidence seems to implicate red meat and processed meat as being linked to a higher risk of colorectal cancer, whereas a diet rich in fiber is linked with lower risk".

The results of the study were published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine.

United States