Vegetarianism has also been show to reduce the incidence of certain types of cancer. These diets are low in saturated fat, high in fiber and contain phytochemicals, which protect from cancer. Several large studies in both England and Germany have shown that vegetarians, when compared to meat eaters, have about a 40% less chance of developing cancer as compared to meat-eaters. Seventh-Day Adventists are largely lacto-ovo vegetarians, have been known to have a reduced cancer risk because they tend to avoid meat.
In China, it has been found that they have similar reduced breast cancer rates due to the amount of vegetables that they eat. In contrast, Japanese women tend to eat more meat and are eight times more likely to develop breast cancer.
Meat and dairy consumption has been linked to various other cancer including:
• Colon cancer
• Prostate cancer
• Ovarian cancer
In studies done by Harvard on several thousand women, it has been found that those who regularly consume meat increase their chances of colon cancer by 300%. These high fat diets that many people consume also cause the body to produce excess estrogen. This increase has been linked to an increase chance for breast cancer. They have also found that breast cancer rates are one third higher in premenopausal women who eat mostly meat diets.
Cambridge University has also linked meat diets with high levels of saturated fat to breast cancer. They have linked dairy products to an increased risk of ovarian cancers as the process of breaking down lactose may damage the ovaries. In men, prostate enlargement has been linked to meat consumption and the risk triples.
Other studies have linked an increase in white blood cell production to vegetarianism as well. These cells are required in fending off bacteria, infection and disease. Thus, the immune system is stronger when a vegetarian diet is consumed.