Do organic foods help breast cancer patients?

**A continuation of our series on breast cancer and nutrition.

Research studies show that organic foods do not contain any more nutrients than non-organic foods, says Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center nutritionist Mary Eve Brown. But you may want to choose organic foods for other reasons, such as avoiding antibiotics, hormones or pesticide residues in your food.

If you are concerned about these residues, she does advise that you choose organic foods when looking for meat, poultry, eggs or dairy products, due to their exposure to hormones and antibiotics.

Again, if you have concerns, she also suggests looking for organic options when buying fruits or vegetables in the so-called “dirty dozen” – foods that are more likely to retain pesticide residues and so are best to buy organic. They include peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce and potatoes. Fruits and vegetables with a thick skin do a better job repelling pesticide residues, so you can stretch your food dollar by focusing your organic purchases on thin-skinned produce.

You can find out more about nutrition and your breast cancer journey in Brown’s recent free webinar, What’s Food Got to Do With It? Eating Well Before, During and After Treatment.

Videos from Mary Eve Brown:
Colon Cancer and Nutrition

Pancreatic Cancer and Nutrition

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }


Vanessa Wasta December 20, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Thanks for all the questions on the nutrient contents of organic foods. From our epidemiology experts at Johns Hopkins: the amount of nutrients in fruits and vegetables depends on the variety, how rich the soil is, and many other factors.


Najma December 20, 2013 at 3:10 am

I love your topics on any field concerning health thanks a lot keep it up. My curiosity keeps bothering
me that is colon cancer curable or for that matter is any cancer curable since I know so many people
who for some period r on remission but later they die.Can't you find medicine which like T.B. which is now not dnagerous and is curable. thankyou najma


Vanessa Wasta December 20, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Indeed, certain cancers are curable. Read this recent report from the American Association for Cancer Research: and this year's report to the nation from the National Cancer Institute citing reductions in cancer deaths:


P J Dines December 18, 2013 at 5:20 pm

I appreciate your acknowledgement of some of the benefits of organic. That's great! However, I do not think the evidence supports your assertion that "Research studies show that organic foods do not contain any more nutrients than non-organic foods." On the contrary, many studies have shown that organic foods contain higher nutrition levels. There are complexities, and different study designs. (The Stanford study has been highly criticized; is their GMO-connection showing?) And it might be hard to say that the organic-nutrient connection is true in every case, because of different growing practices, varieties, etc. However, there are studies that clearly demonstrate a positive correlation. The reason is that non-organic farmers prop up their crops with toxics, while organic farmers nurture them to be strong. I suggest you look for instance at this page


Jessica December 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Hi there, Could you provide proof that non organic food doesn't have any more nutrients than organic? I'm an environmental scientist and organic gardener, so this is very peculiar information and just the opposite our findings. I would love to see where you got this information?


Tan December 17, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Does an ozinizer help in reducing or eliminating chemicals from food?


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