Lower risk of cancer with less meat consumption

CHAPTER 1 MEAT - What role does our diet play in preventing cancer?

Lower risk of cancer with less meat consumption


Lower risk of cancer with less meat consumption

Vegetarians have a 14% lower chance of developing cancer than carnivores, according to a large study that links meat-eating to a heightened risk of the disease.

Cody Z. Watling, of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues used data from 472,377 UK Biobank participants aged 40-70 to assess the association between vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets and the risk for all cancers. , colorectal cancer, postmenopausal breast cancer and prostate cancer during a follow-up of approximately 11.4 years.

The researchers found that, eating less meat, eating fish or being vegetarian was associated with a lower risk of all cancer sites than people who ate meat regularly.

Their study of participants in the UK Biobank study also found that:

  • Low meat-eaters – had a 9% lower risk of developing bowel cancer than regular meat-eaters.
  • Vegetarian women were 18% less likely than those who ate meat regularly to develop postmenopausal breast cancer, though that may be due to their lower body mass index.
  • Vegetarian men have a 31% lower risk of prostate cancer while among male pescatarians it is 20% lower.


The results suggest that specific dietary behaviors such as low meat [and] vegetarian or pescatarian diets can have an impact on reducing the risk of certain cancers; in this case bowel, breast and prostate,” said Dr Giota Mitrou, director of research and innovation at World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRF), which co-funded the study with Cancer Research UK.


Source: https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12916-022-02256-w

Change cookies consent Revoke cookies consent