Eating Organic food has less risk to cancer - CLL Support

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Eating Organic food has less risk to cancer

naddude
naddude

You can cut your cancer risk by eating organic, a new study says. ou can protect yourself from cancer by eating organic, a new study suggests. Those who frequently eat organic foods lowered their overall risk of developing cancer, a study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine finds. Specifically, those who primarily eat organic foods were more likely to ward off non-Hodgkin lymphoma and postmenopausal breast cancer compared to those who rarely or never ate organic foods. cnn.com/2018/10/22/health/o...

19 Replies
AussieNeil
AussieNeilAdministrator

While it's encouraging to find a study specifically highlighting a 73% reduced risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, (NHL) which includes CLL, it is worth:

1) reading the Drawbacks of the Study section "For example, people who choose not to eat organic despite being able to afford to do so might have a poor attitude toward their health in general and that would likely influence the results."

2) reflecting how statistically significant the more than 75% women study is for CLL, which has around a 2:1 male:female incidence, plus we don't know how many of the 47 NHL cases were CLL.

As the article ends: "At the current stage of research, the relationship between organic food consumption and cancer risk is still unclear,".... we should all probably be paying more attention to how much organic food we eat (or reducing pesticide levels in food - good for the environment and us) and "we should probably be studying this more."

It's a pity that the JAMA references to both the study and commentary are broken. I hope CNN soon correct that.

Neil

You make a good point here. Basically the media can't tell the difference when a correlation is found (i.e. a potential link but no proof of causation) and when it has been discovered that one thing causes another (basically cannot be done on one study!).

The unfortunate consequence of things like this is the feeling of stress that comes from people who can't afford to eat organic and then they believe they are more likely to get cancer.

Maybe explain to your GF the folate in asparagus will accelerate the cancer. You need folic acid antagonists (Little Debbies) to keep it at bay.

Bend Sidney Farber's research to meet your ends: nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/N...

(Edit: I think I just found folic acid in little debbie snack. Might need to figure out a different anti-asparagus.)

AussieNeil
AussieNeilAdministrator in reply to DriedSeaweed

Nice try, but your referenced famous research by Dr Sidney Faber, which was fundamental in ushering in curative leukaemia chemotherapy treatment, was for acute childhood leukaemia. I'm not aware of any influence of folate on CLL (and I'm certain that some of our vegan members would be well across any such association!!).

Yeah.. a stretch. I remembered reading about it in emporer of all maladies.

Someone should study it for CLL!

I have been vegetarian/vegan, eating a plant-based diet that is as organic as possible, for over 40 years, and have always felt healthy and full of energy. Since NHL runs through my family, including my father at age 64, my nutritional path clearly didn't prevent my succumbing to what I feel my genes were destined to promote.

Even since my CLL diagnosis in 2012, I feel like a healthy person who happens to have cancer. People are baffled when they learn my age, currently part way through my 80th year, as they claim I look as if I'm in my 60s and act considerably younger. It is known that the skin of vegetarians doesn't age as quickly as it does for carnivores.

While some of my feeling good may be attributed to good genes, just as the CLL could be the result of bad genes, I do feel that my nutritional approach contributes to my ability to weather both aging and CLL. So while it hasn't prevented cancer and other illness, I wonder if it has ameliorated it so it is manageable -- at least so far. We all know that things can change on a dime, so I take one day at a time with gratitude for each one.

I believe that every moment is a choice point -- though my mother brought me up on the mantra that "everything is attitude." Maybe they are one in the same. We have a choice about our actions and attitude.

mgh348
mgh348 in reply to starsafta

Humans evolved and developed large brains eating animal protein and fat. I am 75, eat lots of meat, and no one believes my age. I also eat lots of veggies, nuts, and berries, no grains or sugar. I try to eat organic, grass fed, or wild caught.

starsafta
starsafta in reply to mgh348

Good that you have found what works for you. It sounds as if you are balancing your flesh eating habit with lots of healthy foods, while eliminating carbs. The paleo path? In addition to what we put in our bodies, I think that our genetic make-up and body type play important roles in what diet each individual craves or chooses, as well as how we age.

Of course, there are consequences beyond personal satisfaction. Reality is that we all need to live with the damage to our ozone layer caused by animal farms, and I know some who have ceased eating flesh for environmental considerations or compassion for animals, rather than (in addition to) health reasons. I also know people who claim to feel better on a paleo diet.

You might be interested in these articles. One ends with the sentence, "Eating meat may have kick-started the evolution of bigger brains, but cooked starchy foods together with more salivary amylase genes made us smarter still." Read more at: phys.org/news/2015-08-big-b...

The other includes this sentence: "Once built, a large brain does not require extra sources of protein to maintain its activities." See phys.org/news/2015-08-early...

I'm glad this forum provides a platform where we can share information and listen to other opinions without judgment.

mgh348
mgh348 in reply to starsafta

Well, I think your use of the phrase "flesh eating habit" is derogatory, judgemental and emotionally loaded. If you really want an objective discussion, you would do well to refrain from using such expressions.

starsafta
starsafta in reply to mgh348

Sorry. I used the term as a shorthand reality of not having to spell out all the various possibilities, such as beef, chicken, fish, lamb, etc. The fact is that what carnivores eat is flesh. It was not meant to be derogatory, and I didn't mean for it to be interpreted in that way. The problem with sharing in writing, without eye contact and personal give and take dialogue, is that the intent can be misinterpreted, depending on the orientation of the reader. Sorry if you were offended.

mgh348
mgh348 in reply to starsafta

The correct term for humans is omnivore. They eat everything.

mgh348
mgh348 in reply to starsafta

chriskresser.com/why-you-sh...

Here is the link to the JAMA article

jamanetwork.com/journals/ja...

naddude
naddude in reply to rvles

Thank you!

AussieNeil
AussieNeilAdministrator in reply to rvles

Excellent, thank you for the paper link.

I note with interest the following concerns with this study per the extracts quoted below. The study was about 1/10th the number of participants in a similar UK study, which conversely showed a small increase in breast cancer in women who ate organic food. The results were not statistically significant for men! Participants were well educated "volunteers who were likely particularly health-conscious individuals, thus limiting the generalizability of our findings."

So yes, more study is definitely needed.

Another way to look at the findings of study is that if you are an uneducated older woman who smokes and has a low overall dietary quality, you may have a higher risk of NHL and breast cancer, particularly if you are obese!!

To quote:

"Our results contrast somewhat with the findings from the Million Women Study cohort among middle-aged women in the United Kingdom. In that large prospective study carried out among 623 080 women, consumption of organic food was not associated with a reduction in overall cancer incidence, while a small increase in breast cancer incidence was observed among women who reported usually or always eating organic food compared with women who reported never eating organic food.

:

When considering different subgroups, the results herein were no longer statistically significant in younger adults, men, participants with only a high school diploma and with no family history of cancer, never smokers and current smokers, and participants with a high overall dietary quality, while the strongest association was observed among obese individuals (although the 95% CI was large). The absence of significant results in certain strata may be associated with limited statistical power.

:

Some limitations of our study should be noted. First, our analyses were based on volunteers who were likely particularly health-conscious individuals, thus limiting the generalizability of our findings. NutriNet-Santé participants are more often female, are well educated, and exhibit healthier behaviors compared with the French general population. These factors may may have led to a lower cancer incidence herein than the national estimates, as well as higher levels of organic food consumption in our sample.

Second, although organic food frequencies in our study were collected using a specific questionnaire providing more precise data than earlier studies, strictly quantitative consumption data were not available. Some misclassification in the organic food score intermediate quartiles herein cannot be excluded.

Third, our follow-up time was short, which may have limited the causal inference, as well as the statistical power for specific sites, such as colorectal cancer. "

All true but if organic veggies has a negligible amount of pesticide residue as compared with regular veggies then I for one am a believer that it is safer to eat those. Study or no study.

calvinbebb
calvinbebb in reply to naddude

Interestingly they still spray organic food , just with stuff that degraded and is “natural”. It also depends on how you define organic. Organic apples are still covered in a layer of wax. Even good food can be bad for you. My mum who was a practice nurse recounted a story of a patient who she had recently bumped into. They loved bananas but became very sick. The doctors spotted the issue which was too many bananas!! Nothing is black and white. Look after our mental and physical health and eat as well as we can will help. There is no one fix unfortunately.

AussieNeil
AussieNeilAdministrator

Here's a review of this paper by Australia's well regarded nutritionist Rosemary Stanton, which "presents a fair, balanced and accurate assessment of the research study." according to Tim Crowe: theconversation.com/researc...

Rosemary Stanton suggests ways the study could be improved and in the comments section, Tim Crowe includes some interesting information about the levels and potential impact of natural pesticides found in organically grown food.

I'd love to see "An ideal way to study this issue in future would be to monitor rates of cancer in a group of similar people. Half would be given set amounts of organically grown foods; the other half would have the same amount of the same foods grown using conventional agriculture.

Their urinary levels of pesticide residues and the incidence of cancer over some years could then be assessed more accurately.

But the time and costs to conduct such a study make it unlikely to happen."

Neil

I believe it’s important to eat spray free and chemical free no processed food with CLL.

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