Am I at Risk for Cancer If I Don’t Follow an Organic Food Diet?

Am I at Risk for Cancer If I Don’t Eat Organic Food?

organic foodsEating organic foods have become more popular than ever. Society is being more careful about what they put into their bodies. But what does eating organic  mean to you as far as your cancer risk?

Dr. Brian Lawenda says that whenever possible, you should choose organic foods over non-organic, commercially grown products. Organic foods don’t have pesticides, fertilizers, and they may not have the antibiotics.

He gives an example, “If we are talking about animal products, they won’t have the growth hormones and growth factors that potentially could stimulate inflammation or cancer.”

Dr. Brian Lawenda shares if you are at a increased risk of cancer if you don’t eat organic in the video below.


Brian D. Lawenda, M.D.:  One question that I could ask is the potential benefits of having organic foods versus not organic foods and is there a risk of getting cancer for example if you do not consume organic foods.  What we hear basically from the FDA is that really the difference between having a diet that is having in organic versus non-organic really is no convincing data, but there are no convincing data in terms of increasing risk of any type of chronic diseases or even cancer for people who choose one or the other.  That said we know that organic foods don’t have the pesticides, they don’t have the fertilizers, they may not have the antibiotics for example, if we are taking about animal products, they won’t have the growth hormones and growth factors that potentially could stimulate inflammation or cancer and so my recommendation is whenever possible is to choose organic foods over non-organic commercially grown products.  Look for labels like USDA organic on produce, look for hormone free, and you can buy these now in places such as Costco even for example, so you can save money when you purchasing organic or you can buy them at places like Sprouts and Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and so there are much more widely available than they used to be and therefore the price of these products is actually come down.  There is a website that I like to refer patients to call the environmental working group or and this website has an excellent little feature called the Clean 15 and The Dirty Dozen and so what they do is they have researchers from the environmental working group to go out all over the united states and sample to produce from supermarkets around the United States looking for the cleanest and the dirtiest in terms of toxic load in the products.  What you can do is that each year they republish a new list of the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen and they basically will tell you sort of one through 15, 1 through 12 which produce are the least toxic and which ones are the most toxic and to save money, you basically can go to the Clean 15 list and say those of the ones that were the cleanest and therefore I don’t need to buy them inorganic whereas the Dirty Dozen ones and by the way at the top of the Dirty Dozen is the apple which is supposed to keep the doctor away turns out as the most toxic of the produce.  Those of the ones you would want to spend the money on and probably buy organic, but in general rather you have you know fruits and vegetable in any form or fashion that you can than not, so if money is an issue at rather you know patients just go ahead and get those because consuming diets that are rich in plant products is likely better in terms of reduction of cancer risk and risk of other chronic diseases.

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