Can organic food prevent cancer?

Publish DateMar 24, 2021

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is a leading cause of death globally. In 2020, it led to 10 million deaths worldwide.

Organic food that has gained popularity in the recent decades with its sustainable farming practices and no use of harmful synthetic chemicals is claimed to be the solution for better health and disease prevention.

Now, the question is: Can organic food help in the prevention of cancer?

A recent study suggests that organic food can reduce your risk of cancer.

What is cancer?

Cancer is an umbrella term for a plethora of diseases that can affect our body parts. Often referred to as malignant tumors and neoplasms, this rapid growth of abnormal cells in our body invading throughout is deadly.

How can we prevent cancer?

One of the distinctive ways of preventing cancer known to everyone is ‘say not to Tobacco.’

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that tobacco use leads to $1.4 trillion a year in health care costs and lost productivity every year.

Apart from tobacco use, various other factors can help with cancer prevention — regular physical activity, healthy diet, weight management, reducing occupational radiation exposure, and exposure to outdoor and indoor pollution.

Consuming a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables is quintessential to prevent various non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and conditions: Cancer is one of them.

Organic food, a recent hype of the food industry, can help you take a step forward towards cancer prevention.

The Cancer Study

In a population-based cohort study of nearly 70,000 French adults, published in the JAMA Internal Medicine Journal, scientists found that cancer risks were significantly lower among organic food consumers. The participants were observed over an average period of 4.5 years (from 2009 to 2016).

The findings revealed that those on organic food were 25% less likely to develop cancer, 73% less likely to develop non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and 21% less likely to develop postmenopausal breast cancer.

This scientific finding is a breakthrough even though the results are preliminary and require further investigation of other underlying factors.

Even though most of us assume organic food to be more healthy than conventional food, mainly due to the lack of use of synthetic chemicals, whether organic food is more nutritious than traditionally grown food is not yet conclusive. 

However, the harmful impacts of pesticides on our environment are widely known. Thus, avoiding conventional food due to the fear of exposure to such toxic chemicals is a good enough reason to opt for organic food. And this study gives another reason to practice caution with what you put into your body.

Author: Somrita Ganchoudhuri

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