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Is this true (vegans more likely to get bowel cancer)

(19 Posts)
MrsWrex Thu 11-May-17 10:06:36

This link's been sent to me by my DF (who is very against my new eating pattern, despite it being mentioned only once by me, and repeatedly by him)

How true is it? You thought evolution took millions of years and not a few generations of not eating meat and dairy?

I'm not very scientifically minded so figured someone on mn would know how reliable this is.

blaeberry Thu 11-May-17 10:14:06

Can't see the link but as humans are omnivores it seems quite likely that there will be downsides as well as upsides to having a herbivore diet and you have to consider whether on balance the upsides are worth more to you than any downsides. A small increase in risk of some cancers may be offset but a bigger decrease in more common problems.

exexpat Thu 11-May-17 10:22:24

Can you post the link? All the studies I've read seem to show a strong link between eating red or processed meat and bowel cancer, while diets high in fibre and vegetables seemed to have a protective effect, so that sounds unexpected.

SplitInfinitive Thu 11-May-17 10:44:26

I thought bowel cancer was linked more to meat eating too. Your DF didn't read it in the Daily Mail newspaper did he? My dad used to quote liberally from that scandal rag shock

MrsWrex Thu 11-May-17 13:26:45

Oh I'm really sorry I forgot to link blush

SplitInfinitive Thu 11-May-17 13:44:45

I'd rather take my chances than start eating meat because some research suggests there might be a slight increased risk of cancer. Wouldn't you? smile Just off to have my delicious vegan lunch smile

CoteDAzur Thu 11-May-17 14:50:10

1. The study is about vegetarian diet, not just vegan.
2. It is a population study that looks at effects after generations of vegetarian diet, not about individuals.


3. "Meat increasedsrisk of cancer" etc studies have looked at grilled/barbecued meat (the American way of cooking it). That mans eating burnt bits which are obviously not healthy.

Mediterranean Diet which has been shown over and over as the healthiest way to eat for life has meat & fish in significant amounts. But meat & vegetables are mostly slow-cooked, simmering over hours, rather than grilled over high heat.

exexpat Thu 11-May-17 15:02:17

I assume that since your father appears to be a vocal, evangelising meat-eater, you do not come from the kind of multi-generational line of vegetarians/vegans the article describes as being likely to have that particular genetic mutation putting them more at risk.

In which case, I would have though that the general advice to people on a Western diet to reduce meat consumption in order to avoid bowel cancer (e.g. NHS advice here) would be more relevant.

I have been vegetarian more than 30 years, and my father still makes digs about it, which I ignore, as I have done for more than 30 years. Some meat eaters seem to get very angry about people who make other dietary choices, even when we don't try and push those choices on other people (yes, I know there are some very vocal and evangelical vegans around, but I don't do that).

MrsWrex Thu 11-May-17 15:04:46

Yes, DF thinks I'm going to 'wilt' without any meat or dairy grin

Thank you that was exactly what I was looking for.

Fairylea Thu 11-May-17 15:06:05

I am no expert however there is a history of bowel cancer in my family and I was always led to believe it's down to a mix of genetics, too much red meat and saturated fats and lack of fibre.

I was vegan for 20 years and I think it's perfectly possible to live a very healthy vegan life. Like any diet you have to make sure you are eating across the food groups.

CoteDAzur Thu 11-May-17 15:28:38

"general advice to people on a Western diet to reduce meat consumption in order to avoid bowel cancer (e.g. NHS advice here) would be more relevant."

The word is reduce, not eliminate.

aginghippy Thu 11-May-17 15:35:08

Yes but the main point about the study is that it was looking at genetic mutations in a group of people in India whose ancestors had been eating a vegetarian diet for generations. It is not relevant to the op.

CoteDAzur Thu 11-May-17 15:40:33

I already said that 2 hours ago.

aginghippy Thu 11-May-17 15:57:31

Well then we are in agreement.

anony500 Thu 11-May-17 16:02:19

OP you can find anything to support your opinion on the internet. I'm not an expert but i don't see how a fibrous diet like a vegan diet (unless you are living off oreos 😛) is more carcinogenic than a meat filled one

dangermouseisace Sat 13-May-17 18:01:42

It said that vegetarian ancestry changes DNA that according to what the scientists believe increases the chance the body will change cheap veg oil (sunflower not olive etc) into inflammatory stuff, which in turn raises the risk of cancer. Not that vegan=cancer. Vegetarians and vegans have a much lower risk of colorectal cancer, as measured in longitudinal studies where they measure OUTCOMES rather than speculation about what 'might' happen.

dangermouseisace Sat 13-May-17 18:02:55

BTW FIL died of bowel cancer at a relatively young age. Ate lots of processed and red meat.

MythicalChicken Sat 13-May-17 18:14:30

My FIL had bowel cancer and we are vegan partly because we don't want to get cancer. We eat a super-healthy diet with tons of veggies, lentils, etc. However, the PIL are convinced we are going to die because we refuse to eat sausages, mince and other crap.

Cancer rates (especially in children) are increasing at an alarming rate. I read a study only yesterday about the link between hot dogs and leukemia in children. It really upsets me when I see posts on here where parents talk about giving their kids chicken nuggets in a jokey "I'm such a shit parent, lol!' kind of way. Yes, you are actually.

I have found that, as a vegan, I am constantly having to defend myself and my food choices to people who eat absolute shit.

MythicalChicken Sat 13-May-17 18:16:55

All of the Vegetarian Indians I know (and I know hundreds!) tend to eat quite an unhealthy diet. Lots of dairy and oil. Maybe that has something to do with it?

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