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Prostate Cancer Prevention Diet 

 

Diet plays an important role in development and prevention of most cancers, including prostate cancer. The question you may ask is what foods to avoid and eat as prevention to reduce my risk of being diagnosed with the cancer? 

To answer this question, we need to focus on animal fats, red meat, calcium, vitamin D, antioxidants, and healthy fats. No need to mention processed foods as we all know they are harmful to our health. These advises are not only for the prevention of prostate cancer (and other cancers), but also cardiovascular disease, and many other medical conditions.  

Animal fats and red meat – These foods have been found in a variety of studies to be factors for many cancers. There is a connection between the consumption of animal fats and the development of prostate cancer. Studies have demonstrated a strong correlation between the intake of animal fats and red meat, and development of malignant prostate tumor, and mortality from this disease.  When this habit is associated with lack of exercise and tobacco use, the risk is even higher. Although all mechanisms are not known, some researchers believe these unhealthy foods influence the production of cancer-causing hormones and free radicals in the prostate gland. 

In addition to potential small amount of carcinogens contained in a diet rich in animal fats, the carcinogenic effect associated with meat cooked at high temperatures could play a role. Also, in your prostate cancer prevention diet, avoid high-fat dairy products, enriched flour, refined salt and sugar, and alcohol consumption.  

However, good fats such as wild salmon omega 3, walnuts, hemps seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, and pistachio are extremely important for your health in general, your prostate gland included.  Pumpkin seeds and walnut alone have been shown to reduce urinary urgency and frequency in men with UTI or prostate problem.  

Excess Calcium – having adequate calcium intake in your diet is essential to form and maintain good bone, in both men and women. However, excessive intake may increase the risk of prostate cancer: beyond 2,000 mg of calcium daily (2 g / day of calcium). So beware of excess dairy products and most calcium-rich mineral waters. The problem can be worst when the mineral is taken in supplement form. It is wise to avoid excess calcium in any cancer prevention diet. 

Scientists believe this can be due to the fact that high dietary calcium intakes reduce absorption of zinc and vitamin D in the body.  It is known that Zinc and vitamin D have protective properties against prostate cancer. 

Vitamin D - Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods. It is produced when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger its synthesis. Some laboratory studies have shown that vitamin D is capable of inhibiting the growth of cells of certain cancers, including prostate cancer. However, with age, the body produces less vitamin D, possibly contributing to increased risk of this cancer in older men. Since Vitamin D is one of the few vitamins that can be manufactured by the body, this can explain why older men and people who live in colder countries where there is less sunshine are more prone to be diagnosed prostate cancer. 

Vitamin D also contributes to calcium absorption in the gut and maintaining of adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentration, which allows normal mineralization of bone. In addition, the vitamin helps in modulating cell growth, normalization of neuromuscular and immune functions, and reduction of inflammation. Scientists also believe vitamin D plays a vital role in modulating certain genes encoding proteins which participate in regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Vitamin D should be an important element in your prostate cancer prevention diet. 

Antioxidants - According to some studies, having enough of certain antioxidants, such as vitamin E and selenium, in a diet could help prevent prostate cancer. Lycopene is another antioxidant that works in the prevention of prostate cancer; it is found in abundance in tomatoes. Men who consume more tomatoes (especially as juice, sauce and paste) have a lower risk of having the tumor compared to those who consumed the least. 

Sulfuraphane (non-GMO cruciferous vegetables) - Sulfuraphane is a molecule which is obtained from cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbages. It helps in the prevention of different cancers, include prostate cancer. Therefore, increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables. 

 

References

1) Factors that affect zinc bioavailability and losses in adult and elderly populations: 

 Nutrition Reviews 2014 72: 334-352  

Abstract - Full Text - Full Text (PDF) 

 

2) Probiotics Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 and Lactobacillus casei CRL 431 Modestly Increase Growth, but Not Iron and Zinc Status, among Indonesian Children Aged 1-6 Years  

J. Nutr. 2013 143: 1184-1193  

Abstract - Full Text - Full Text (PDF) 

 

3) Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Vitamin D Fortification of Complementary Foods  

J. Nutr. 2003 133: 2994S-2999  

Abstract - Full Text - Full Text (PDF) 

 

4) Concurrent micronutrient deficiencies in lactating mothers and their infants in Indonesia  

Am J Clin Nutr 2001 73: 786-791  

Abstract  Full Text Full Text (PDF) 

 

5) Overview of Zinc Absorption and Excretion in the Human Gastrointestinal Tract  

J. Nutr. 2000 130: 1374S-1377  

Abstract - Full Text 

 

6) Causes of Iron and Zinc Deficiencies and Their Effects on Brain, prostate‚Ķ  

J. Nutr. 2000 130: 347  

Abstract - Full Text 

 

7)   Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2010.  

 

8)  Cranney C, Horsely T, O'Donnell S, Weiler H, Ooi D, Atkinson S, et al. Effectiveness and safety of vitamin D. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment No. 158 prepared by the University of Ottawa Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-02.0021. AHRQ Publication No. 07-E013. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2007. [PubMed abstract]  

 

9)  Holick MF. Vitamin D. In: Shils ME, Shike M, Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ, eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 10th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006.  

10)  Norman AW, Henry HH. Vitamin D. In: Bowman BA, Russell RM, eds. Present Knowledge in Nutrition, 9th ed. Washington DC: ILSI Press, 2006.