Simply consuming fruits, vegetables, and whole grains might not sufficiently protect men from aggressive prostate cancer (PCa).
A new Spanish study published in The Journal of Urology finds that men who closely followed a Mediterranean style diet (including fish, boiled potatoes, whole fruits, vegetables, legumes, olive oil, and minimal juices) had significantly lower risk for aggressive PCa (Gleason score above 6 or clinical stage T2b to T4 disease) than men adhering to a “prudent” diet or Western diets.
In the MCC-Spain (Multicase-Control Study on Common Tumors in Spain) case-control study, researchers compared the diets of 733 patients with histologically-confirmed PCa and 1229 healthy men (mean age 66 years) from 7 provinces in Spain. After completing a 154-item food frequency questionnaire, men’s dietary intake and habits were graded according to how closely they matched the 3 dietary patterns. Western diets commonly contain high-fat dairy products, refined grains, processed meat, high-calorie drinks, sweets, convenience foods and sauces, and a low intake of low-fat dairy products and whole grains. A prudent diet centers on low fat dairy products, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and juices.
High adherers to a Mediterranean-style diet had a significant mean 33% lower risk for PCa above Gleason score 6 and a 51% lower risk for clinical stage T2b to T4 disease. The other dietary patterns showed little or no significant associations with aggressive disease.
“Our results show that a diet oriented towards the prevention of aggressive tumors in the prostate should probably include important elements of the Mediterranean diet such as fish, legumes, and olive oil, and suggest that a high intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains might not be enough,” explained lead investigator Beatriz Perez-Gomez, PhD, of the Cancer and Environmental Epidemiology Unit at the Instituto de Salud Carlos III in Madrid, according to a news release from the American Urological Association, which publishes The Journal of Urology.
Castello A, Boldo E, Amiano P, et al. Mediterranean dietary pattern is associated with low risk of aggressive prostate cancer: MCC-Spain Study. J Urol. doi:10.1016/j.juro.2017.08.087
A more complete Mediterranean diet may protect against aggressive prostate cancer [news release]. Elsevier, Jan 10, 2018.