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Lifelong Vegetarianism Connected to Lower Rates of Colon Cancer


Posted by Nirmala N.

According to a group of German researchers, a lifelong vegetarian diet can lead to a significantly lower risk of developing colon cancer. The study followed nearly 10,000 people, of whom about 2,000 were lifelong vegetarians. Over a period of five years, the researchers discovered far fewer cases of colon cancer among the vegetarians, compared to non-vegetarians. According to the study, a vegetarian diet can only reduce the risk of colon cancer if it is followed from birth.
 
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Great post! I am on my way to becoming a vegetarian. I don't eat red meat anymore and try to fix at least three vegetarian dinners a week. All the research points to the benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables and less fatty foods.

As a colorectal cancer survivor (diagnosed and treated in 2003 at ~43yrs old Stage 3) I was raised on a balanced diet, we grew most of our own vegetables (organically) and with the exception of college, for more than 20 years after I was mostly on an organic diet and grew my own vegetables. I was and I still am very active and in very good shape an athlete most of my life. While diet is important there are many other factors that can contribute to colorectal cancer. My sister presently has colorectal cancer (diagnosed at age ~39yrs Stage 4) and will die from this disease. She has been a vegetarian and later a vegan for all of her adult life. You might be thinking genetics, but we’ve been tested and we do not have any of the known markers, however, this doesn’t mean genetics is not part of the equation. Environment might be the other factor, but for over 20 yrs we have lived thousands of miles apart. Unless you plan to only eat certified organic foods and grow your own, there are a lot of chemicals used in farming that have been linked to this and other types of cancers. Avoiding high fat, processed foods, and trying to go organic across the board would be better in my opinion than in one direction. With all of my intestinal alterations and radiation, high fats, dairy, high fiber and many vegetables and fruits are off my list because of GI distress. While I am always a fan of healthy and natural eating, moderation is the word to keep in mind, get screened early if you have a history, and at 50 no questions asked or earlier if possible if you suspect anything. Studies are good for awareness, but produce generalizations, conclusions cannot be made from a 5yr study.

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