Diet High in Red Meat, Fat Increases Risk of Prostate Cancer

A new study from Duke University Medical Center published in the journal, BMC Medicine, showed that what you eat can influence the risk of prostate cancer. Here's what men need to know. Worldwide, prostate cancer is diagnosed in almost 1 million men and it is the most common cancer among men in the United States. 


Researchers found that prostate cancer had a six-fold occurrence in Western compared to non-Western countries. Factors related to lifestyle, diet, genetics and environment were thought to play a big role in the development of the disease. 

Scientists focused on analyzing the potential role dietary patterns play in the development and occurrence of prostate cancer.

The study findings included:

  • Foods to reduce risk of prostate cancer
    • low intake of refine carbs
    • increased consumption of:
      • omega-3 fats
        • soy protein
        • green teas
        • coffee
        • pomegranates
        • resveratrol (found in raspberries, blueberries, grapes and wine)
        • tomatoes

They also found an anti-inflammatory mixture of herbs deemed Zyflamend (ginger, green tea, oregano, rosemary etc.) reduced prostate cancer risk. But on the contrary, a higher β-carotene status found in plants and fruits along with a higher intake of saturated fat increased the risk of developing the disease.  

Experts are looking at these results carefully and hoping it opens up more doors to an increase in the number of studies that look at dietary patterns and lifestyle factors with regards to the development of prostate cancer. The findings in this particular study are somewhat inconclusive but there does seem to be evidence for a potential role of dietary intake in the prevention of prostate cancer. 

Researchers suggest that a combination of all dietary factors found to be advantageous for prostate cancer risk reduce might be beneficial to men. This type of dietary pattern would include a high consumption of fruits and vegetables and reduced intake of refine carbohydrates.

Western Diet May Have Higher Risk of Prostate Cancer

This study also correlates with another recent one released this week from scientists at Harvard University in Boston where findings suggest that those who eat an unhealthy western diet high in red meat, fat and white carbs are more likely to die. The findings appear in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. 

Researchers found a diet high in red and processed meat, fat and refined grains was linked to an increased risk of death. Findings showed that patients with prostate cancer that consumed Western diets were two-and-a-half times more likely to succumb to the disease and 67% had an increased risk of dying from any causes, compared to men choosing a healthier diet, rich in vegetables, fruit, fish and beans were reduced by 36%.

Researchers analyzed 926 men, following their diagnosis of prostate cancer for an average of 14 years. Those who ate Western diets were found to be of greater risk with men eating more fruit, vegetables and fish less likely to succumb to the disease. 

Learn about healthy foods for prostate health here