Two New Studies Add Evidence That Animal Products Increase Cancer Risk, While Plant Foods Reduce It

The Physicians Committee

Two New Studies Add Evidence That Animal Products Increase Cancer Risk, While Plant Foods Reduce It

April 20, 2007

A study published in the International Journal of Cancer evaluated the role of dietary nutrients and the risk of endometrial cancer among 1,204 newly diagnosed endometrial cancer patients and 1,212 women without cancer in China. Results showed that those who consumed the most animal products had nearly four times the risk of cancer, compared with those whose diets were derived primarily from plant sources. Cancer risk increased as protein and fat from animal products was increased.

A second study, from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, examined the association between the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer and dietary intake of plant lignans (a plant estrogen found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, and cereal products). Among those who consumed the most plant lignan, incidence of breast cancer was 17 percent lower than those who consumed the least.

Touillaud MS, Thiebaut A, Fournier A, Niravong M, et al. Dietary Lignan Intake and Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Risk by Estrogen and Progesterone Receptor Status. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2007;99:475-486.

Xu W, Dai Q, Xiang Y, Zhao G, et al. Nutritional factors in relation to endometrial cancer: A report from a population-based case-control study in Shanghai, China. Int J Cancer. 2007;120:1776-1781.

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