Population studies, conducted over long periods of time, have shown that a vegetarian diet can reduce the risk of some cancers
Population studies, conducted over long periods of time, have shown that a vegetarian diet can reduce the risk of some cancers.
A commonly researched group, the Seventh Day Adventists, most of whom follow a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet for religious reasons, have as low as half the cancer rate of an equivalent
population. One of two health studies conducted among Seventh Day Adventists at Loma Linda University in California, this one following 34,000 Adventists between 1976 and 1982, found significantly lower risk of developing cancers at most of the major cancer sites (stomach, lung, pancreas, rectum, bladder, and large intestine) in Adventists following a vegetarian diet.
A larger health study among 125,000 Seventh Day Adventists is now enrolling study participants across the US and Canada. This 10-year study is expected to further determine the effects of a vegetarian diet on cancer incidence (see adventisthealthstudy.org).
Researchers will need to take into account that most vegetarians generally do not smoke and only occasionally drink alcohol.