Guess we can all eat parsley again. What a relief! From the Washington Post:
The vast majority of studies purporting to link foods to cancer have incredibly weak associations, often insignificant, according to new research in the Journal of American Clinical Nutrition. Jonathan D. Schoenfeld and John P.A. Ioannidis recently combed through the body of research on 50 of the most common cooking ingredients. They found that a full 40 of them had been the subject of a study tying the ingredient to a different level of cancer risk. Schoenfeld and Ioannidis started with the classic Boston Cooking School Cook Book, combing through its recipes for the most common ingredients. They then went to the body of cancer research, and found that 80 percent of those common ingredients had been the subject of a cancer risk study. The list, which you can see below, ranges from spices like salt and pepper to coffee to tripe.
The changes in cancer risk were all over the map: 39 percent found an increased risk, 33 percent found a decreased risk and 23 percent showed no clear evidence either way. Ingredients that had not yet been associated with cancer risk included baking soda and molasses. Don't panic yet, though: The vast majority of those studies, Schoenfeld and Ioannidis found, showed really weak associations between the ingredient at hand and cancer risk. A full 80 percent of the studies had a P-value lower than 0.05, a threshold often used to determine whether a relationship is statistically significant. Seventy-five percent of the studies purporting to show a higher cancer risk fell into this category, as did 76 percent of those showing a lower cancer risk.
One complication: What will they yap about on the chat shows? Below is a clip from "Sleeper."