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A Vegetarian Diet May Lower Risk of Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancers are one of the leading causes of cancer mortality.  A recent study suggests that following a vegetarian diet may lower the risk of developing colorectal cancer.


Participants in the study included 77,659 Seventh-Day Adventists who took part in The Adventist Health Study 2.  This study took place between January 1, 2002, and December 31, 2007. During that time period, 380 cases of colon cancer and 110 cases of rectal cancer were identified.


After examining the data, the researchers determined that vegetarians had a 22% lower risk of all colorectal cancers overall compared to meat eaters.  This broke down to a 19% lower risk of colon cancer and a 29% lower risk of rectal cancer.


Additionally, vegans had a 16% lower risk of colorectal cancer, vegetarians who ate milk and eggs had an 18% lower risk, those who ate fish had a 43% lower risk, and those who ate some meat had an 8% lower risk.


Researchers from the Loma Linda University Health conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on March 9, 2015, in JAMA Internal Medicine.


In addition to a lower risk of colorectal cancer, previous research has linked vegetarian diets with lower incidence of hypertension, obesity and type-2 diabetes. If you decide to switch to a vegetarian diet, consult a nutritionist to make sure you’re getting all of the proper nutrients. Many vegetarians choose to supplement their diets with high quality supplements.

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