Consuming Less Meat may Lower the Risk of Cancer
Scientists investigate whether diet plays a role in the development of cancer. Earlier findings suggest that consuming meat is linked to a higher likelihood of developing certain cancer types. However, a recent study discovered that individuals who consume less meat have lower chances of developing cancer.
A research team based at the University of Oxford published a study examining the impact of different levels of consuming meat on the chances of getting cancer. The researchers focused on the impact of meat consumption on three of the most prevalent types of cancers: breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer. It was discovered that vegetarians who don’t eat meat, vegetarians who consume fish or seafood, and those who consume small amounts of meat have considerably smaller chances of getting cancer.
None of the individuals who took part in the study was diagnosed with cancer when the study started. The participants informed the research team about their meat consumption habits during the examination. Each participant belonged to one of the four groups:
- Low meat-eaters
- Vegetarians and vegans
When the study ended, 54,961 were diagnosed with cancer. The group of meat-eaters served as a benchmark for analyzing the likelihood of developing cancer for the remaining groups. The results indicated that vegetarians and vegans had a 14% smaller chance of developing cancer than the other groups. Moreover, vegetarian women in postmenopause had a 15% smaller chance of getting breast cancer. On the other hand, male fish-eaters and male vegetarians had a 20% and 31% smaller chance of developing cancer.
Nevertheless, the research team believes that other factors, such as BMI, influence the link between eating meat and developing cancer. For example, a high body mass index is also linked to an increased risk of developing cancer. In addition, the study’s findings suggest that the association between meat consumption and the development of cancer is also influenced by other factors, for instance, age, smoking, and drinking alcohol.
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