Demand for food
Over the last decade, the global population has increased significantly, resulting in high demand for food. According to a survey by Maarten Elferink and Florian Schierhorn, the demand for food is expected to increase anywhere between 60% to 98% by 2050.
Due to increase in global demand for food, the levels of pesticide operation has shoot-up inconceivably. There are thousands of pesticides used across the world to ensure high yield, also for protection of crops by the plaques, weeds and other non-mutualistic pests and microflora.
Globally elevated levels of Pesticide deploy
The usage of pesticides has marked significant raise in developing countries deriving occupational exposure over the marginal levels, potentially toxic to humans and can have both acute and chronic health effects, depending on the quantity and ways in which a person is exposed. Environmentally these toxic molecules bring a threat to Biodiversity and turn out harmful effects in human, including the risk of Breast cancer.
We cannot assume that there is only occupational exposure to pesticides despite, people from cities and avenues get exposed to trace amounts of pesticides by ingestion of the contaminated food, potable water and also mainly through human breast feeding.
What pesticide does with Breast cancer?
What alarms me is, certain pesticides and insecticides like atrazine and methoxychlor, exhibit non-monotonic dose response NMDR curves which is unusual with high endocrine disrupting activity at low doses which ideally leads to cancerous tumors, birth defects and other developmental disorders.
Even the accidental ingestion or inhalation of such Endocrine disrupting pesticides EDPs will upset the physiological functions of endogenous hormones, by interfering with their synthesis, release, binding, signalling or metabolism. In addition to this it is associated with a wide range of diseases which include Breast cancer, a most common type of malignancy among women Worldwide.
The pesticides commonly used in farming like malathion, diazinon and herbicide glyphosate are some of the likely human carcinogens that have caused higher risk of lymphomas among farmers as they are regularly exposed to them.
Breast cancer being one of the leading cancers in the world, many pesticides are endocrine disruptors that mimic hormones function like estrogen which play a crucial role in breast cancer.
In a research made at the University of Cartagena, it is evident that a list of EDPs exhibited multi-target behaviour to target proteins associated with Breast Cancer. These EDPs reported to restorate biochemical mechanisms related to breast cancer development and reduced survival time, such as the antifungals fenhexamid and fludioxonil that promotes the expression of miR-21, the most overexpressed microRNA (mi-RNA) in breast tumors with poor prognosis the antifungal cyprodinil that increases the cancer cell proliferation and promote metastasis through its interaction with different signalling pathways. Some of these EDPs are also classified as group B and C carcinogens, such as: iprodione, amitraz, fembuconazole, permethrin, bifenthrin, clofentezine, cypermethrin and difenoconazole. On the other hand, oxyfluorfen and cypermethrin are able to produce tumors in mice and would be carcinogenic to humans at long-term exposure.
How to reduce the risk of Breast Cancer?
The question is very simple and so does the answer. To reduce the risk of Breast cancer, we need to go back to our roots and start consuming organic food, which may lower the cancer risk, possibly due to decreased exposure to pesticides.
Few studies have reported that the integration of organic food consumption and a healthy lifestyle reduces the risk of breast cancer remarkably.
A large British study has found that people who consumed organic food on a regular basis, had a significant risk of lower risk of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (a cancer that originates in your lymphatic system). Later on a French study of 70,000 adults, through 5 years, showed that organic food consumers had 25 percent fewer cancers than people who never consumed organic food. The regular consumers of organic food had 76% lesser chances of lymphomas, 86% less chances of non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, and 34% lesser chances of breast cancer after menopause.
A study by University of North Carolina reported that there was no or less trend of risk for Breast cancer with increased consumption of organic food and food products. Regular or frequent consumption of Organic food and food products will not only reduce the risk of Breast cancer but also enables an individual to maintain healthy diet and thus can reduce the chance of infecting to wide range of diseases.
Varshith MR & Anagha,
Treillis Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd