“These findings may directly inform clinical care by providing diet recommendations as guidance for managing their health and reducing morbidity for the most common cancer facing U.S. men, in addition to having other positive health benefits for preventing other chronic diseases,” Liu said.
For the study, Liu and her colleagues used data from a study that collected information on more than 2,000 men with prostate cancer.
Over a median of seven years, the researchers found that men who reported diets that included the highest amounts of plants had a lower risk of both progression and recurrence, compared with men who ate the lowest amounts of plants. This association did not vary by age, walking pace, or the severity of cancer.
“Post-diagnostic healthful plant-based diets, including vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains, may be associated with a reduction in risk of prostate cancer progression and recurrence, adding to a list of other numerous health benefits including a reduction in diabetes, cardiovascular disease and overall mortality,” Liu said.
Why Plant-Based Diet Could be Good for Those with Prostate Cancer
The reason behind the benefits of a plant-based diet may be because fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components. Additionally, they are high dietary fiber that improve glucose control and reduce inflammation.
Furthermore, this diet could reduce potentially harmful exposures to animal-based foods, such as hormones and heterocyclic amines created during high-temperature cooking, which have been linked to prostate cancer in particular.
Diets in Animal Protein Could Increase Risk of Prostate Cancer
Diets high in animal protein may also increase insulin resistance, while milk and dairy may increase levels of the growth factor IGF1, which has been associated with prostate cancer risk.
“We’ve known that diets that include vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains are associated with numerous health benefits, including a reduction in diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and overall mortality,” Liu said in a statement. “We can now add benefits in reducing prostate cancer progression to that list.”
The findings are to be presented Thursday at the 2023 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, in San Francisco. Findings presented at medical meetings are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Taking the Full Picture into Account
It is important to note that although the findings are promising, they can’t prove that a plant-based diet caused prostate cancer outcomes to improve, only that there is an association between the two.
Conversely, there is biological evidence that plant-based diets are healthier and can boost the immune system.
There is a biological rationale for plant-based diets being able to slow the risk of progression of any cancer as a result of immune surveillance. On the other hand, people who eat a plant-based diet also tend to exercise, which has been shown to boost the immune system.
A healthy lifestyle also lowers the risk of cancer recurrence and progression because patients can tolerate treatments better, are more likely to get the full treatment, and are more likely to be compliant.
- Diet Higher in Plants Associated With Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer Progression and Recurrence – (https:old-prod.asco.org/about-asco/press-center/news-releases/diet-higher-plants-associated-lower-risk-prostate-cancer)
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