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Research released by the National Institutes of Health indicates that a vegetarian diet may significantly reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. The second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, colorectal cancer affects millions of Americans. Studying over 77,000 patients, it was found that those with a vegetarian diet were less likely to develop colon or rectal cancer.
There is a clear association between diet and the development of colorectal cancer. In this, and other studies, there has been a correlation between eating meat increased risk. However, this information does not indicate whether there is something beneficial in a vegetarian diet, harmful in meats, or other lifestyle choices tied to diet are at the root. Though more information is necessary, vegetarian diet led to a 20-30% reduced risk of developing colorectal cancer.
The study authors stress that major diet shifts may not necessarily be advisable, but it likely doesn't hurt to eat more fruits and vegetables.