A look at vegetarians and cancer.
While it goes without saying that the choice to lead a vegetarian lifestyle is a healthier choice, did you know as a vegetarian you also reduce your risk of certain types of cancers?
A vegetarian diet is one that is rich in fiber, naturally low in saturated fat, and replete with cancer-protective phytochemicals which help prevent cancer.
Studies in both England and Germany have shown that vegetarians are 40% less likely than meat eaters to develop cancer. In the U.S., a study performed by Seventh-Day Adventists (who are comprised largely of lacto-ovo vegetarians), has shown a significant reduction in cancer risks amongst those who abstain from meat.
Along those same lines, countries which boasts populations that practice a vegetarian diet such as China, boast low breast cancer rates due to their plant-based diets. Interestingly enough, studies have shown that Japanese women who follow after Western-style meat-based diets are eight times more likely to develop breast cancer than those Japanese women who follow traditional plant-based diets. Dairy products and meat have been linked to many forms of cancer, including breast, ovarian, prostate and colon.
In a recent Harvard study involving tens of thousands of men and women, those who regularly consumed meat increased their risk for colon cancer by 300 percent. Even more, such a high fat diet also encourages your body to produce estrogens. Increased levels of estrogen have been linked to breast cancer.
Studies have shown that the rate of breast cancer amongst premenopausal women increased for those who ate a majority of animal fat as opposed to women who ate the least amount of animal fat. In a separate study performed by Cambridge University, breast cancer was also linked to diets high in saturated fat.
One particular study make the link between dairy products and the risk of ovarian cancer due in part to the fact that the process to break down lactose (milk sugar) in turn damages the ovaries. For men, daily meat consumption increased their risk of prostate enlargement by triple. Add to that the fact that consuming regular milk doubts the risk and failure to consume adequate amounts of vegetables daily nearly quadruples such risk.
Becoming a vegetarian helps you avoid the animal fat linked to cancer, and instead provides a diet that is abundant in vitamins, phytochemicals, and fiber. All of these essential ingredients help prevent cancer. In addition, studies of blood analysis of vegetarians reveals a level of “natural cell killers” that act as specialized white blood cells attacking cancer before it has a chance to form.