Men should adopt Mediterranean diet to reduce risk of aggressive prostate cancer


Men should adopt Mediterranean diet to reduce risk of aggressive prostate cancer

Men who want to do everything they can to reduce their risk of prostate cancer, should strongly consider adopting a Mediterranean diet way of eating. A study showing the benefits for men of following a Mediterranean diet to reduce their risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer, could be key to lowering their risk.

Published in The Journal of Urology, this research is advocating for a change to guidelines recommending that men should closely follow the Mediterranean dietary pattern as an effective means of reducing the risk of advanced prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer affected an estimated 161,360 new men in 2017 in the U.S., which accounted for almost 10 percent of all cases of cancer and is the most common cancer in men after skin cancer.  The American Cancer Society is estimating for the 2018 about 164,690 men will be given a diagnosis of prostate cancer and around 29,430 of those men will succumb to the disease.

The disease occurs when there is uncontrolled growth of cells in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive organs.  The prostate produces a fluid that forms part of semen.  The size of a walnut, the prostate sits just below the bladder and surrounds the urethra, the tube that passes through on its way out of the body.

Study on the Mediterranean Diet and Prostate Cancer

Ever since the 1960s when the Mediterranean Diet emerged, there have been various definitions of what it is and how to follow it. But a general common theme has always been the emphasis on a high intake of vegetables, fruits, whole cereals, legumes, olive oil, moderate intakes of fish, meat, dairy, and red wine, and low intakes of eggs and sweets.

For the study, researchers looked at data from a case-control study of 733 men with prostate cancer and 1,229 men without it.  The men who had prostate cancer were categorized by the aggressiveness of their disease according to the Gleason score and clinical stage.  The study was done in 7 Spanish provinces between September 2008 and December 2013.  All of the men were from Spain with an average age of 66 years old.

Each participant was assigned to one of three groups according to which dietary pattern most closely matched their eating habits.  These dietary patterns were either Western, prudent or Mediterranean.

Men in the Western diet group had a dietary pattern of consuming large intakes of fatty dairy foods, processed meats, fast, food, refined grains, sweets, sauces, and high-calorie drinks.  Men in the prudent diet group followed a plan of low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and juices.  For the men following the Mediterranean pattern for this study had eating habits of high intakes of fish, fruits, vegetables, boiled potatoes, legumes, and olive oil with low levels of juice intake.

During the study, the scientists compared the patterns of adherence in the men with prostate cancer and the men who were healthy.  Findings showed that only the men who followed a high adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern had an associated significantly reduced risk of having prostate cancer with aggressive and extensive tumors.  The other two dietary patterns – the Western or prudent – did not show any link with a reduced risk of these types of tumors.

The researchers from the study recommend that an effective way of reducing a man’s risk of developing advanced prostate cancer would be to adhere to a Mediterranean dietary pattern.  When men follow a Mediterranean diet it not only protects their prostate, it is also known for having a protective benefits for reducing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, reducing high blood pressure and weight gain.  It’s a win-win way of eating for all men.