A vegetarian diet, especially one that includes fish, significantly reduces the risk of colorectal cancer, a large new study reports.
Researchers recruited 77,659 men and women from Seventh-day Adventist churches nationwide. All filled out well-validated questionnaires that included more than 200 food items. Meat intake in the population was very low — an average of about two ounces a day.
During an average of seven years of follow-up, the scientists found 490 cases of colorectal cancer. Over all, after adjusting for many health and behavioral variables, vegetarians had a 21 percent reduced risk of cancer compared with nonvegetarians. The results are in JAMA Internal Medicine.