Organic food: does this really reduce the risk of cancer?

A large French cohort follow-up study states that the largest consumers of organic food would have a 25% lower risk of cancer than those who consume the least. An indication more than true certainty. As for ice creams. Explanations.

Consuming "organic" products would reduce the risk of developing cancer, according to a large French study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine, unpublished by the number of people followed and its duration. This study is based on the analysis of the NutriNet-Santé cohort, which is a national cohort dedicated to analyzing the role of diet on health.

The authors immediately ask the debate about the question they asked themselves: "Although organic foods are less likely to contain pesticide residues than conventional foods, few studies have analyzed the link between consumption. of organic foods and the risk of cancer ".

Nearly 70,000 participants

A very large national cohort of French, 68,946 adults, participated in the study between May 10, 2009 and November 30, 2016. The evaluation of the consumption of organic products was based on the consumption data of 16 foods. but it is not a gram assessment of what these people could eat every day. The participants were divided into 4 groups according to the frequency with which they consume organic products then the researchers analyzed how were distributed the cases of cancers appeared during the study between these 4 groups. The researchers defined a diet as "a diet less likely to contain pesticide residues".
1,340 cases of cancer were identified during the experiment, including 459 breast cancers, 180 prostate cancers, 135 skin cancers, 99 colorectal cancers, 47 non-Hodgkin's lymphomas and 15 other lymphomas. And the result of the study is significant: "High numbers of organic food consumption were inversely associated with the overall risk of cancer".

Cancer risk reduced by 25%

Specifically, individuals in the largest group of organically-grown foods would have a 25% lower risk of cancer compared to the lowest-consuming group. It is a relative risk, that is to say that it corresponds to a difference in absolute value of 0.6%, which moreover is on a modest number of cancers. So we are far from the epidemic phenomenon.

The authors go even further and report relative risk reductions of up to 34% for postmenopausal breast cancer and 76% for lymphoma.

A hypothesis of researchers

"To explain these results, the hypothesis of the presence of synthetic pesticide residues much more common and at higher doses in foods from conventional agriculture compared to organic foods is most likely", deduced in The world Emmanuelle Kesse-Guyot, researcher (National Institute of Agricultural Research, INRA) in the research team in nutritional epidemiology (INSERM, INRA, University Paris-XIII) and co-author of this work.
As a significant reduction in the risk of cancer has been observed among large consumers of organic foods, "the promotion of organic food consumption within the population could be a promising preventive strategy against cancer," conclude the scientists.

Studies against pesticides multiply

Recently, studies against pesticides are multiplying. In a worrying report released on Tuesday (September 4th), the NGO Générations Futures claims that more than 6 out of 10 pesticide residues found in European food are potentially endocrine disruptors. These chemicals are foreign to the body and are thought to affect fetal growth and development, sleep, blood circulation, sexual and reproductive function.

This hypothesis must therefore be explored by other studies to be confirmed or invalidated. However, can we draw from this study an absolute recommendation of organic food consumption? Certainly not because it is not a model of study that establishes a cause-and-effect relationship.

The ice that kills

Many intercurrent factors (bias) can indeed disrupt the results, even though researchers have tried to eliminate all biases by different statistical methods. But it's like drowning history that is statistically correlated with ice cream consumption.

The ice cream is not for nothing, but when you eat a lot of ice cream, it's usually hot, and when it's hot, you're more likely to be trying to swim ... and get walnut. So maybe people who eat more bio, also eat more vegetables and more fiber, and these fibers are also beneficial for cancer.

Consuming organic foods is probably better for your health (if washed properly), but you do not have to go broke for it. Cancer-related hecatombs have not been observed since the emergence of super-market tomatoes full of pesticides and taste-insects.

Video: Are Organic Foods Essential for Cancer Prevention? (April 2020).