Is cancer related to food?

Cancer is the second cause of mortality in France. The most common are those of the breast, colon, prostate and lung. Food is a major factor in the emergence and the development of this disease.

Cancer is almost always the result of several factors, including food, whose role is better known. Food can promote the development of cancer in several ways: toxicity of certain food contaminants, possible carcinogenic role of some food additives, and especially composition of the diet with the presence too high or too low of some nutrients.


Contamination by a fungus

An example of contamination of food by a carcinogenic risk for liver substance is the presence of antitoxin: this microscopic fungus can persist in peanuts and some cereals in tropical climate is subject to extremely strict control.

Fertilizers and hormones

The abusive use of nitrogenous fertilizers, nitrates, and their presence in water could also increase the risk of cancer: controls the content of nitrates in drinking water is highly regulated.

Alimentation et cancer Estrogenic hormones used to accelerate the growth of calves and found in meat are suspect to promote cancers of the reproductive tract of women. As a precautionary measure, the European Union banned the use of all growth hormones in livestock.

Additives food such as nitrites and certain dyes or sweeteners are carcinogenic in animals and human potential. Their use in the food industry is very controlled.

Food, nutrients and cancer: what we know?

For 20 years, the existing links between food consumption and cancers are of a great interest on the part of the researchers and the general public. However the relationship of cause and effect between such food and such cancer are still all clearly established. Extensive ongoing epidemiological studies in several countries should bring new evidence in the coming years. However many knowledge on the role of certain foods are already available.