According to a study of hundreds of thousands of people, vegetarians are fourteen percent less likely to develop cancer than people who regularly eat meat. Experts also suggest that vegetarianism is associated with a healthy lifestyle, which is an essential factor in cancer.
Less Meat Consumption Might Lead to Low Cancer Risk
A team of researchers from Oxford University analyzed data on more than 470,000 Britons and found that a lower risk of cancer is found in vegetarians and pescatarians. Vegetarians reject any meat, while Pescatarians eat fish and other seafood. In both groups, cancer risk is about ten to 14 percent lower on average.
Vegetarians were 18 percent less likely to develop postmenopausal breast cancer than women who eat meat regularly. However, it may also be due to something else, probably their lower body mass index. For vegetarian men, the risk of developing prostate cancer is 31 percent lower, while it is 20 percent lower for pescatarian men.
Colon Cancer on the Top
The results suggest that people who eat meat only occasionally had a two percent lower risk of developing cancer compared to those who eat it five days a week and more often. People who consume little meat, less than five times a week, had a nine percent lower risk of developing colon cancer than regular meat consumers.
However, the authors, led by Cody Watling of the Oxford Department of Cancer Epidemiology, pointed out that their findings did not clearly show that eating meat regularly increased cancer risk.
According to them, the differences found could have other causes – especially smoking and higher body fat levels. More frequent meat consumption is often associated with a lifestyle that consists of smoking, lack of exercise, or alcohol consumption.