- A Mediterranean diet characterized by minimal consumption of saturated fats could be a major influence in combatting prostate cancer, as suggested by a study led by Dr. Justin Gregg at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
- The study indicated a slashed risk for prostate cancer growth or advancement in patients who enjoyed meals rich in plant-based foods, with every one-point increase in a patient’s ‘Mediterranean diet score’ corresponding to a 10% decrease in risk for tumor progression.
- The benefits of the Mediterranean diet appear to be markedly evident in Black men, who typically experience the incidence and severity of prostate cancer more so than their white counterparts.
- The principle theory is that a low-fat diet might suppress cancer at the cellular level, as experiments have shown saturated fats to enable the movement and invasion of cancer cells, making the Mediterranean Diet an non-invasive and overall health beneficial choice for men with early-stage prostate cancer.
- The health advantages of this diet extend well beyond cancer prevention and control, and include lowering the risk for cardiovascular disease and mortality, propelling us a step closer to providing evidence-backed dietary suggestions for optimal outcomes in cancer patients.
Emerging research highlights the potential of a wholesome Mediterranean diet as a means to combat the progression of prostate cancer.
The Role of Saturated Fats
Considerably low levels of saturated fat in these diets appear to play a significant part in this effect. The Mediterranean way of eating, characterized by minimal consumption of saturated fats, could be a major influence in combating prostate cancer. This observation is backed by the significantly lower metastatic rate and mortality in Japanese men attributed to their low-fat diet, despite the country having an equivalent incidence of prostate cancer.
The Promising Study
A notable study by Dr. Justin Gregg, an Assistant Professor of Urology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, focused on 410 prostate cancer patients. As many diagnosed cases of prostate cancer are low-risk with encouraging outcomes, many patients choose ‘active surveillance’ rather than immediate treatment. This scenario was true for the study participants.
The research team noted a significantly lower risk of prostate cancer growth or advancement in patients who embraced meals rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals, and fish – classic components of a Mediterranean diet. The analysis indicated that every one-point augmentation in a patient’s ‘Mediterranean diet score’ correlated to a 10% decrease in risk for tumor progression.
Gregg emphasized the impressive prospects of the Mediterranean diet as being non-invasive, beneficial for overall health, and having potential to influence cancer progression.
Amplified Effect in Black Men
The impact of the Mediterranean diet was seen to be even more striking in Black men, a significant observation as the incidence of prostate cancer is over 50% higher in Black Americans as compared to whites. Their outcomes are typically more severe, too.
How does this work?
Low-fat diets may have an inhibitory effect on cancer at the cellular level, a hypothesis supported by laboratory tests that reveal saturated fats to facilitate the mobility and invasion of cancer cells.
The Power of Nutrition
Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler, a urology specialist said these findings underline the belief that nutritious food aids us in staying healthy and stimulating our immune system. “A healthy diet with plant-based foods will help us live longer,” she believes. Particularly for men with early-stage, low-grade prostate cancer, adhering to a Mediterranean-style diet could be pivotal.
Furthermore, the dietary benefits extend well beyond cancer prevention and control. Associate professor of epidemiology at MD Anderson, Carrie Daniel-MacDougall mentioned, “The Mediterranean diet has continually been linked to lower cancer risk, lower risk for cardiovascular disease and mortality.”
This study propels us one step closer to providing evidence-backed dietary suggestions for optimal outcomes in cancer patients, answering numerous enquiries in this area.
Where is the study published?
The report of this study was recently released in the journal Cancer.
Click here for more details on prostate cancer.