(article by PJ Krause)
Almost all nonorganic meat and dairy products found in grocery stores and restaurants have a high risk of being contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, environmental toxins, hormones and/or antibiotics – all of which increase the risks of developing cancer. On the other hand, a healthy vegetarian diet that includes an abundance of fruits and vegetables has a protective effect against cancer.
There are numerous scientific and medical studies that show a strong diet-cancer connection. The list below highlights how a diet heavy in meat and/or dairy products increases the risks of several of the most common types of cancer:
Blood Cancers – A study published in the British Journal of Cancer showed that meat eaters were four times more likely than vegetarians of developing some type of blood cancer. The most common blood cancer is leukemia.
Ovarian – Women who drink three or more glasses of milk per day have a 19% increased risk of developing ovarian cancer, according to a study from The Harvard School of Public Health.
Testicular – A German study showed that men who had 20 or more servings of milk per month were at 37% increased risk of testicular cancer.
Prostate – A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that men who ate the most amount of red meat had a 30% increase in prostate cancer compared to the men who ate the least.
Colon – An overview of 29 studies analyzing meat consumption and colon cancer concluded that eating a lot of red meat increased risk of colon cancer by 28%.
Bladder – A report present at the American Association for Cancer Research 101st Annual Meeting 2010 indicated that diets that include high amounts of red meat, fried chicken and fried fish correlated to an increased bladder cancer risk.
Skin – A dietary pattern of high meat and fat intake increased squamous cell carcinoma risk according to a 2007 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Breast – The National Cancer Institute states that women who eat meat every day are almost 4 times more likely to develop breast cancer than vegetarians.
Pancreas – A recent Swedish study has shown that eating just one sausage, or two pieces of bacon a day, will increase one’s chance of getting pancreatic cancer by 19%.
Eating a plant-based diet not only is a huge preventative of cancer, but according to some scientists, switching to a strict plant-based diet can reverse or even cure cancerous tumors. Regardless of the type of cancer, a diet rich in the antioxidants obtained from fruits and vegetables has a strong protective effect, whereas animal protein and meat products greatly increase the potential risk of developing cancer.
PJ Krause is a writer who advocates the healthy, environmental, economic and ethical benefits of a meat-free diet. For the latest scientific and medical information regarding the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle, visit PJ’s blog, http://whyidonteatmeat.blogspot.com.