Organic veg ARE better for you, study reveals
Newcastle Journal (England)
THE largest study of its kind - led by North East experts - has found significant benefits to organic food.
An international team led by
Numerous studies have linked antioxidants to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers.
The study found that a switch to eating organic fruit, vegetable and cereals - and food made from them - would provide additional antioxidants equivalent to eating between one to two extra portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
The study, to be published next week in the prestigious
Cadmium, which is one of only three metal contaminants along with lead and mercury for which the
The study, funded jointly by the European Framework 6 programme and the
Concentrations of total nitrogen were 10%, nitrate 30% and nitrite 87% lower in organic compared to conventional crops.
The Newcastle study also showed that pesticide residues were four times more likely to be found in conventional crops than organic ones.
"This demonstrates that choosing food produced according to organic standards can lead to increased intake of nutritionally desirable antioxidants and reduced exposure to toxic heavy metals.
"This constitutes an important addition to the information currently available to consumers which until now has been confusing and in many cases is conflicting."
The study is the most extensive analysis of the nutrient content in organic versus conventionally-produced foods ever undertaken and is the result of a groundbreaking new systematic literature review and meta-analysis by the Newcastle team.
The findings contradict those of a 2009
"The main difference between the two studies is time," said Prof Leifert. "Research in this area has been slow to take off the ground and we have far more data available to us now than five years ago."
The entire database generated and used for this analysis will be freely available on the