Being vegetarian protects against cancer, but does not save the… rectum

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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Being vegetarian would not only help reduce harmful gas emissions from cattle farms, but also the onset of many cancers, especially blood, bladder and stomach cancers. The scientific confirmation of what until yesterday was only a perception and which from today will become a small pride for those who in life have made the choice to eliminate meat from their diet, comes from England and in this case from the study published in the British Journal of Cancer.



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Paul McCartney, just a few weeks ago, suggested becoming one at least one day a week in the name of the environment, but apparently, being vegetarian not only would it help reduce harmful gas emissions from cattle farms, but also the onset of many cancers, especially blood, bladder and stomach cancers.



La scientific confirmation of what until yesterday was only a perception and which from today will become a small pride for those who in life have made the choice to eliminate meat from their diet, comes from England and in this case from the study published in British Journal of Cancer. These are the first results of the "European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition“, A long-term international project started in 1997, which will continue to be carried out in Oxford and other cancer research centers. In 12 years they have been observed 61.566 people in the United Kingdom divided into three groups: those who ate meat, those who ate fish (but not meat) and those who ate neither.

The conclusion that has been reached is that among carnivores 33% will get cancer in their lifetime, while among vegetarians the risk drops to 29%: 4 percentage points which corresponds to 12% less likely to contract the disease. This in general, because taking into consideration the different types of cancer, vegetarians were particularly protected against blood and lymph node cancers where the probability drops by as much as 75% in the case of multiple myeloma. For those who exclude meat, the risk of cervical cancer and a third less likely to get stomach cancer. But be careful why the vegetarian diet does not limit, indeed it almost seems to increase, the risk of colorectal cancer and cervical cancer which affects vegetarians twice as much as meat eaters.

Despite the great scope of these results, especially because they were achieved with such a large sample and in such a long period of time, the researchers themselves call for caution: "At the moment this is only a first study that does not allow us to draw firm conclusions and advise everyone to abandon meat and adopt a vegetarian diet, ”comments Professor Tim Key, research coordinator.



"These are significant data - Dr. Naomi Allen, researcher at Cancer Research of the Oxford University and co-author of the report - although they should be taken with some caution as this is the first large study of its kind on the subject. We need to do more and learn more. For example, we need to find out which aspect of a vegetable, fruit and fish diet protects against cancer. And we need to establish how positively a vegetarian diet affects, as well as how negatively a meat-based one affects “.


A further confirmation, therefore, that, even if complex and still to be analyzed, there is a correlation between nutrition and cancer. While waiting to learn more, the advice is always the same: more vegetables and less meat for everyone. For your health and that of the planet.


Simona Falasca

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