How Plant-Based Eating Affects Prostate Cancer Progression in Men

Greg Howard
4th May, 2024

How Plant-Based Eating Affects Prostate Cancer Progression in Men

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Study at the University of California, San Francisco found eating more plant-based foods may lower prostate cancer progression risk by 47%
  • Men with aggressive prostate cancer who ate healthier plant foods had a 55% lower risk of the cancer getting worse
  • The research suggests dietary changes to more plant-based foods could help manage prostate cancer post-diagnosis
Prostate cancer is a significant health concern for men worldwide, with diet and lifestyle factors increasingly recognized as playing a role in the disease's progression. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco[1] have delved into the impact of diet after a prostate cancer diagnosis, specifically examining how plant-based dietary patterns might influence the risk of the cancer worsening or leading to death. The study tracked 2062 men with biopsy-proven nonmetastatic prostate cancer over a median follow-up period of 6.5 years. These men had been diagnosed with stage ≤T3a prostate cancer and were part of a larger group enrolled in the Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor (CaPSURE), a national registry. Their dietary habits were assessed using a detailed food frequency questionnaire, which allowed the researchers to calculate scores for two types of plant-based diet indices: the overall plant-based diet index (PDI) and the healthful plant-based diet index (hPDI). The primary focus was to observe the number of prostate cancer progression events, including recurrence, secondary treatments, bone metastases, or prostate cancer-specific mortality. The study found that men with the highest PDI scores, indicating a greater consumption of plant-based foods, had a 47% lower risk of prostate cancer progression compared to those with the lowest scores. Interestingly, the hPDI, which emphasizes healthier plant-based foods, did not show an association with the risk of progression overall. However, for individuals with more aggressive cancer at diagnosis (Gleason grade 7 or higher), a high hPDI was linked to a 55% lower risk of progression. These findings are particularly compelling when considered alongside earlier research. For instance, a previous study[2] found that high saturated fat intake was significantly associated with a higher risk of dying from prostate cancer. This supports the idea that diet can influence prostate cancer outcomes. Furthermore, the consumption of cruciferous vegetables was previously shown[3] to significantly reduce the risk of prostate cancer progression, underlining the potential benefits of specific plant-based foods. Other studies have reinforced the benefits of plant-based diets for prostate cancer patients. One such study[4] reported that greater consumption of healthful plant-based foods was associated with lower risks of aggressive forms of prostate cancer in men under 65. Conversely, high-fat milk intake was associated with an increased hazard of prostate cancer mortality among patients diagnosed with localized prostate cancer[5], suggesting that certain animal-based foods might be detrimental. The latest findings from the University of California, San Francisco expand on these earlier studies by providing evidence that a postdiagnosis diet rich in plant-based foods can be associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer progression. This suggests that dietary modifications toward plant-based foods could be a valuable part of postdiagnosis care for prostate cancer patients. While the study is observational and cannot establish causality, it does highlight the potential role of diet in managing prostate cancer. It suggests that nutritional counseling could be beneficial for patients to help them adopt healthier eating patterns, which might support their overall health and possibly improve their prognosis. In conclusion, this research adds to a growing body of evidence that diet, particularly a plant-based diet, may play a crucial role in the progression of prostate cancer. It underscores the importance of dietary choices in the management of the disease and provides a basis for future research to further understand the relationship between diet and prostate cancer outcomes.

NutritionHealthPlant Science


Main Study

1) Plant-Based Diets and Disease Progression in Men With Prostate Cancer.

Published 1st May, 2024

Related Studies

2) Dietary fat and prostate cancer survival.

Journal: Cancer causes & control : CCC, Issue: Vol 10, Issue 4, Aug 1999

3) Vegetable and fruit intake after diagnosis and risk of prostate cancer progression.

4) Association of plant-based diet index with prostate cancer risk.

5) Dairy intake in relation to prostate cancer survival.

Related Articles

An unhandled error has occurred. Reload 🗙