Did you know that 41% of men and women born today will develop cancer at some point in their life?
How crazy is that. We don’t have much of a chance!
A study released in November of 2012 has found that eating a vegetarian diet significantly reduces your risk of cancer.
The investigators assessed dietary patterns in 69,120 subjects enrolled in the Adventist Health Study-2. The researchers assessed cancer incidence from cancer registries.
What they found was that the subjects who consumed a vegetarian diet had an eight percent decrease in the risk of developing cancer compared to the non-vegetarians. It also decreased the chance of gatrointestinal cancer by 24%.
Further analysis showed that a vegan diet was associated with a 16 percent decrease in overall risk of cancer in men and women combined, and a 34 percent decrease in the risk of female-specific cancers. source
So the less animal product in your diet the better the chance of decreasing your cancer risk.
The researchers concluded that Vegetarian diets seem to confer protection against cancer. Vegan diet seems to confer lower risk for overall and female-specific cancer compared to other dietary patterns.
Tantamango-Bartley Y, et al. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2012 Nov 20.
Then another study came out in February 2013 also showed a reduction in heart diesease risk with vegetarian diets.
Researchers found vegetarians had lower blood pressures and cholesterol levels.
“The results clearly show that the risk of heart disease in vegetarians is about a third lower than in comparable non-vegetarians,” said study co-author Tim Key. source
Now with both of these studies there are certainly issues with things like the details with what was defined as a vegetarian diet.
For instance many vegetarians consume a huge amount of cheese which is loaded with saturated fat or comparing the vegetarians diets to that of meat eaters what kind of meat were people eating, processed? organic? and what kind of effects does that have.
Or how does lifestyle factors effect the study results. Other studies on anthropoligical evidence sometimes shows other results like the results from a recent article in Nature provides shows potential that meat is better?
Researchers studied the tooth enamel from fossils of three different types of early cavemen. They discovered that the group that ate mainly plants died out before the meat eaters. source
What this means is both sides can make arguments either way. My personal opinion is that choosing vegetarian with a consistent effort to make sure you are monitoring your protein intake is probably the better choice.