The balanced consumption of plant-based foods has been associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer in men under the age of 65, according to a new study by the Journal of Urology. The study followed 47,243 men for 28 years. The plant-based dietary patterns were calculated by using data from food frequency questionnaires collected every four years to discover the association between plant-based diets and the risk of prostate cancer.
During the period of the study, a total of 6,660 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, from them 516 with advanced stage at diagnosis, 958 with a terminal disease, and 807 deaths from prostate cancer.
Researchers found that the greater consumption of plant-based foods the less risk of contracting prostate cancer, especially in men under 65 years of age at diagnosis. Among younger men, greater consumption of a healthful plant-based diet was associated with lower risks of total prostate cancer. There were no associations with either the overall or healthful plant-based diet indices with prostate cancer among men older than 65 years.
Researchers pointed out that the main difficulty of the study was that less than one percent of participants kept a strict vegetarian or vegan diet, so they were unable to measure the risk in men who eat plant-based foods and no animal products.
After concluding the study, the researchers determined it provides supportive evidence that greater consumption of healthful plant-based foods may be associated with a lower risk of total and fatal prostate cancer among younger men in comparison to the potentially harmful role of meat, dairy, and other animal products.
A similar study was presented to the American Institute for Cancer Research’s 2016 conference from Researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center where they divided 32 men undergoing prostate cancer treatment into two groups. The first group was assigned a plant-based diet and exercise regimen while the other was given standard care. They were requested to report an overall improvement in their quality of life. After the three-month study period, the men on the plant-based diet were more agile by four times faster than the control group. Plant-based patients also lost weight with an average of four pounds, while the control group gained one percent body fat.
On the other side, studies determined that animal-based foods could increase men’s risk of getting sick. One study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that men who consume three or more servings of dairy products a day had a 141 percent higher risk of death due to prostate cancer compared to those who consumed less than one serving.
In response to these findings, non-profit medical group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine recently placed advertisements in bus shelters across Washington, DC that urge residents to “Ditch Dairy to Protect Your Prostate.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Washington, DC has the highest prostate cancer mortality rate in the country.