Thursday, April 3, 2014

British Study Shows Organic Unlikely to Reduce Risk for Cancer

The British Journal of Cancer published an scientific study that indicates women who eat organic foods do not reduce the risk to develop cancer when compared to women who eat a more conventional diet.

British Journal of Cancer
Organic food consumption and the incidence of cancer in a large prospective study of women in the United Kingdom

K E Bradbury1, A Balkwill1, E A Spencer2, A W Roddam3, G K Reeves1, J Green1, T J Key1, V Beral1 and K Pirie1 The Million Women Study Collaborators4

1Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7LF, UK
2Department of Primary Care and Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX2 6GG, UK
3Worldwide Epidemiology, GSK, Uxbridge UB11 1BT, UK
Correspondence: Dr KE Bradbury, E-mail:
4Members of the Million Women Study Collaborators are listed before References.
Received 3 December 2013; Revised 24 February 2014; Accepted 26 February 2014
Advance online publication 27 March 2014
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Organically produced foods are less likely than conventionally produced foods to contain pesticide residues.


We examined the hypothesis that eating organic food may reduce the risk of soft tissue sarcoma, breast cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other common cancers in a large prospective study of 623 080 middle-aged UK women. Women reported their consumption of organic food and were followed for cancer incidence over the next 9.3 years. Cox regression models were used to estimate adjusted relative risks for cancer incidence by the reported frequency of consumption of organic foods.


At baseline, 30%, 63% and 7% of women reported never, sometimes, or usually/always eating organic food, respectively. Consumption of organic food was not associated with a reduction in the incidence of all cancer (n=53 769 cases in total) (RR for usually/always vs never=1.03, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.99–1.07), soft tissue sarcoma (RR=1.37, 95% CI: 0.82–2.27), or breast cancer (RR=1.09, 95% CI: 1.02–1.15), but was associated for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (RR=0.79, 95% CI: 0.65–0.96).


In this large prospective study there was little or no decrease in the incidence of cancer associated with consumption of organic food, except possibly for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.


organic food; cancer; cohort; women

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