Fran Lowry, Medscape
March 09, 2015
Vegetarians appear to be at lower risk for colorectal cancer than nonvegetarians, new research shows.
In a large observational cohort study of Seventh-Day Adventists, those who consumed a vegetarian diet had a 22% lower risk for all colorectal cancers than those who ate meat.
The study was published online March 9 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Interestingly, the risk of developing colorectal cancer was much lower in pescovegetarians (who ate no meat but who ate fish more than once a month) than other categories of nonvegetarians. The relative reduction in risk was 43%, said lead author Michael J. Orlich, MD, PhD, from Loma Linda University in California.
“We weren’t expecting the pescovegetarians to show the lowest risk,” Dr Orlich told Medscape Medical News. “But the finding for pescovegetarians, compared with nonvegetarians, was highly statistically significant, so this is very unlikely to be due to chance.”