A recent study by the World Cancer Research Fund, Cancer Research UK and the Oxford Center for Population Health indicated that vegetarians are less likely to develop cancer than people who eat meat.
Published in the journal BMC Medicine, the study was conducted by analyzing the diet groups of more than 450,000 people in the UK, where participants were classified according to their level of meat and fish consumption.
The people who were the subject of the study were divided into three groups, the first group includes people who eat processed, red or poultry meat more than five times a week, the second group includes people who eat fish and do not eat other type of meat, and the third group includes vegetarians who do not eat meat or fish.
The researchers concluded the following results:
The risk of developing any type of cancer was 2% lower in low meat eaters, 10% in regular meat eaters and 14% in vegetarians.
People who ate less meat had a 9% lower risk of developing bowel cancer compared to regular meat eaters.
Vegetarian women had an 18% lower risk of developing postmenopausal breast cancer compared to women who regularly ate meat, possibly due to the lower BMI seen in vegetarian women.
Vegetarians and people who ate fish had a 20 percent to 31 percent lower risk of prostate cancer, compared to people who regularly ate meat.
Commenting on the study, Dr. Ayan Basmo, a senior consultant in radiation oncology at the Cancer Research Center in Calcutta, India, said that a vegetarian diet can significantly reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer or other diseases of the digestive system, as well as reduce the risk of developing cancer in general, according to the Indian Express.