Vegetarian Diet Helps Lower the Risk of Colorectal Cancers

In a recent study conducted in US researchers have shown that the risk of Colorectal Cancer can be minimized by a Vegetarian Diet including some fish/seafood.

Colorectal cancers are a leading cause of cancer mortality, and their primary prevention by diet is highly desirable. The relationship of vegetarian dietary patterns to colorectal cancer risk was not well established. So this research was aimed at evaluating the association between vegetarian dietary patterns and incident colorectal cancers.

This study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, describes the health benefits of different types of plant-based diets.

Lead study author Dr. Michael Orlich, an assistant professor in medicine and public health at Loma Linda University in California and colleagues used dietary questionnaires, medical records, and cancer registries to examine the link between eating habits and cancer prevalence in a nationwide sample of 77,659 Seventh-Day Adventists, a religion that encourages a healthy lifestyle and abstinence from smoking and drinking.

During a mean follow-up of 7.3 years, 380 cases of colon cancer and 110 cases of rectal cancer were documented and the data showed that compared to regular meat eaters, the vegetarians were 22 per cent less likely to have colorectal malignancies.


The complete results breakdown is as follows,

Pescovegetarians, ( people who ate fish at least once a month and meat less than once a month) -risk reduction – 43 per cent.

lacto-ovo vegetarians ( People who consumed eggs and dairy while limiting fish and meat to less than once a month) -the risk reduction – 18 per cent.

Vegans, who ate eggs, dairy, fish, and meat less than once a month, – Risk reduction – 16 per cent.


Speaking further on these results Dr. Leonard Saltz, chief of the gastrointestinal oncology service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York says “The comforting takeaway is that a person doesn’t need to be vegan and cut out all eggs, dairy, and fish to get some benefit in terms of reducing the risk of cancer,”.

“To the degree you can adjust your diet so it is primarily fruits and vegetables and seafood, it’s healthier,” Saltz said. “We’re not saying you’re committing suicide if you have a cheeseburger, but it should be a treat, not a regular occurrence.”

Source- JAMA internal Medicine /