Cancer and the Vegetarian Diet - D. Lymphoma (Lymphatic Cancer)
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From William Harris, M.D.
December 21, 1999

D. Lymphoma (Lymphatic Cancer)


In 1977 Cunningham (24) examined the correlation between age-adjusted lymphoma mortality as reported by the WHO (25), and food intake as reported by the O.E.C.D. (26). Using multiple regression analysis for the intake of cereal grain, eggs, fish, nuts, pork, potatoes, poultry, pulses, seeds, starches, animal protein, crop protein, and total protein, he found the highest positive correlation with beef and dairy protein intake (R=.78, p<.001). Fish and all of the plant foods had a slight negative correlation.

A 1997 case-control study conducted in Northern Italy between 1983 and 1992 involving 829 cases and 1,157 controls (27) found that "Compared with the lowest tertile, the odds ratio (OR) for the highest tertile of milk intake was 1.8 for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (NHL) and 1.9 for sarcomas. Liver intake was an indicator of the risk of Hodgkins Disease (HD) (OR = 1.8), NHL (OR = 1.6), and myelomas (OR = 2.0), ham another indicator of HD (OR = 1.7), and butter an indicator of myelomas (OR = 2.8). A high consumption of green vegetables was inversely related to myelomas (OR = 0.4), and frequent use of whole-grain foods was inversely related to NHL (OR = 0.4) and soft tissue sarcomas (OR = 0.2). The OR for the highest tertile of intake of beta-carotene ranged between 0.5 and 0.7, whereas the OR for retinol ranged between 1.5 and 2.3."

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