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Adventist Health Study-2 anticipates significant findings in 2016


by James Ponder 
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Michael J. Orlich, MD, PhD, co-investigator of the Adventist Health Study-2 at Loma Linda University School of Public Health, says a number of articles are anticipated in research and scientific journals in 2016 exploring links between diet and improved health. The building behind him is one of the original campus cottages dating from the time of Ellen White.

New discoveries about the links between diet and health will be announced this year through the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2), a project of Loma Linda University School of Public Health.
According to Michael J. Orlich, MD, PhD, co-investigator, investigations on the following topics are anticipated for publication in research and scientific publications in 2016:

•  Calcium and dairy consumption and colorectal cancer
•  Calcium and dairy consumption and prostate cancer
•  Soy consumption and breast cancer
•  Eating specific meats and colorectal cancer
•  Meal timing and weight gain
•  Tomato consumption and prostate cancer

Orlich says the findings will also be reported to the general public. That’s what happened last year when the May 2015 edition of JAMA Internal Medicine published an article he wrote reporting that vegetarians have 22 percent fewer instances of colorectal cancer than non-vegetarians. Nearly 200 media outlets, including several international news agencies, carried the story.
Funded by the National Cancer Institute, Adventist Health Study-2 is based on data gathered from 96,000 members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, beginning in 2002. It follows earlier studies of health among Adventists stretching back to the 1950s. The collected data is extensive enough that researchers are able to ask specific questions about many aspects of dietary practice and arrive at quantified answers in terms of specific foods and nutrients and their relationship to various cancers.
Orlich says 2015 was a breakthrough year in that the first AHS-2 analyses addressing the risk of specific cancers were published. In addition to his article, Yessenia Tantamongo-Bartley, PhD, published an article on prostate health in the November 2015 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Her analysis showed a 35 percent reduced risk association of prostate cancer in vegans compared to non-vegetarians.
Orlich concludes on a note of gratitude. “We appreciate the extremely valuable participation of all of our AHS-2 study members,” he says. “After years of collecting data on cancer risk, in 2015 we published our first scientific articles from AHS-2 linking diet patterns to the risk of cancer. We expect 2016 to be an important year with multiple publications relating specific foods and the risk of common cancers, particularly colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers.”

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