THE ROLE OF DIET IN PROSTATE CANCER PREVENTION
In the Western world, prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancers in the male population. (1) At the base of this pathology there are some factors which can not be altered such as race, age, genetic and hormone factors. However, there are some factors which can be changed e.g., diet, obesity, physical activity and smoking.
It is possible to prevent prostate cancer and to do so, we must adopt a healthy and balanced life-style.
The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has recently released a revised document of published data which summarises the results of studies which have been performed.
It has been demonstrated that being over-weight and obesity alterate different hormonal pathways which are associated with high insulin levels, low testosterone levels and high levels in inflammatory cytokines. This can increase the risk of (2-6) pathology. Consequently, it is important to maintain a normal weight and a Body Mass Index Level – BMI between 18.5 – 24.9
Another factor which can be modified is our diet.
We must underline that anti-cancer food and nutrients do not exist. A good balance between a correct diet and physical activity make us less susceptible to the disease.
Research has shown how a greater intake of saturated fats from butter and meat can increase the risk of patalogies while an intake of fish and vegetal oils can have a protective effect, thus reducing risks. (7)
Lycopene, vitamin E and polyphermoli have undergone studies.
Lycopene is an antioxidant which comes from carotenoids and can be found in tomatoes. It can help reduce the risk of cancer (8). Vitamin E, which is also an antioxidant and anti-inflamatory, can be found in sun-flower oil, extra virgin olive oil and almonds. (9)
Polyphermoli which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properites, can be used in prevention.
Catechins which are present in green tea, have been widely studied. An meta-analysis has highlighted how the risk of prostate cancer depends on how much catechins are consumed and the risk decreases with an increased intake of green tea. There is a significant decrease in risk for those who drink 7 or more cups of green tea per day (10).
To-date, there are no unambiguous conclusions. A mediterranean diet is recommended which contains wholegrains, monounsaturated and omega-3 rich foods e.g., blue fish, dried fruit, oil seeds, extra virgin olive oil, legumes and vegetables. Processed and/or refined foods should be avoided.
Taking into consideration the data from above mentioned studies, we would like to recommend some delicious recipes for prevention….
- Bray, F. et al. Global cancer statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries. CA Cancer J. Clin. 2018, 68, 394-424.
- De pergola et al. Obesity as a major risk factorfor cancer. J Obes 2013:291546.
- Platz et al. The epidemiology of sex steroid hormones and their signaling and metabolic pathways in the etiology of prostate cancer. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2004; 92: 237
- De Marzo et al. Inflammation in prostate carcinogenesis. Nat Rev Cancer 2007; 7: 256–69.
- Ma et al. Prediagnostic body-mass index, plasma C-peptide concentration, and prostate cancer-specific mortality in men with prostate cancer: a long-term survival analysis. Lancet Oncol 2008; 9: 1039–47.
- Li et al. A 25-year prospective study of plasma adiponectin and leptin concentrations and prostate cancer risk and survival. Clin Chem 2010; 56: 34–43.
- Matsushita et al. Influence of diet and nutrition on prostate cancer. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 1447.
- Rowles, J.L. et al. Increased dietary and circulating lycopene are associated with reduced prostate cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2017, 20, 361–377.
- The Alpha-Tocopherol Beta Carotene Cancer Prevention Study Group. The effect of vitamin e and beta carotene on the incidence of lung cancer and other cancers in male smokers. Engl. J. Med. 1994, 330, 1029–1035.
- Guo, Y.; Zhi, F.; Chen, P.; Zhao, K.; Xiang, H.; Mao, Q.; Wang, X.; Zhang, X. Green tea and the risk of prostate cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Baltim. 2017, 96, e6426.