The study covered almost 70,000 people and followed them for about five years.
Researchers focused on 16 types of organic products: fruits; vegetables; soy-based products; dairy; meat and fish; eggs; grains and legumes; bread and cereals; flour; vegetable oils and condiments; ready-to-eat meals; coffee and tea; wine; cookies, chocolates and other candies; other foods; and dietary supplements. The most common type was breast cancer (459 cases), followed by prostate cancer (180 cases), skin cancer (135 cases), colorectal cancer (99 cases), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (47 cases) and other types of lymphomas (15 cases).
What is more surprising is the fact that even people who consumed a moderate quantity of organic foods had a reduced risk of cancer according to the study.
A health survey of almost 70,000 French adults found those who ate large amounts of organic food had much smaller cancer rates.
Organic food is more popular than ever as more Americans are looking to avoid additives and while we assume it's healthier, the new research looked at cancer rates specifically.
And yet the authors do not put hard to equate the consumption of organic products and the prevention of cancer. The authors conclude, "Although our findings need to be confirmed, promoting organic food consumption in the general population could be a promising preventive strategy against cancer". This suggestion is in line with the findings by the International Agency for Research in Cancer which found pesticides are cancer-causing in humans. The French researchers also assumed that the more organic foods a person ate, the lower their exposure to pesticide residue would be.
Researchers at the Sorbonne Paris Cité Epidemiology and Statistics Research Centre (INRA, Inserm, University Paris 13 and CNAM) conducted the epidemiological study.
"According to a 2018 European Food Safety Authority report, 44 per cent of conventionally produced food samples contained one or more quantifiable residues, while 6.5 per cent of organic samples contained measurable pesticide residues".
The researcher suggested that people shouldn't stop eating fruits and vegetables if they can't afford expensive organically grown options.
"Overall fruit and vegetable consumption is good for you, organic or not", she said.
In an accompanying editorial, Frank B. Hu, MD, PhD, and Jorge E. Chavarro, MD, ScD, both of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues said the study had several strengths, such as its large sample size, prospective design, and modest loss to follow-up. This revealed that the people who ate organic food most often had higher incomes, more education and higher-status jobs. It's related to very important social and economic determinants, and understanding why it is that people are choosing, or are able, to eat organic is as important as documenting whether or not they're eating organic foods. According to the tenders, most of the people in the study were less fat, non-smoker and less alcohol consumption.
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