Prostate Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Study Explores Link Between Diet and Prostate Cancer Risk

By: Celeste L. Dixon
Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019

According to an extensive literature review, plant-based foods appear to be associated with either decreased or unchanged risk of prostate cancer, whereas animal-based foods, especially dairy products, seem to be linked to either increased or unchanged risk. Because increased calcium intake also appeared, from the literature, to be associated with increased prostate cancer risk, and dairy products are rich in calcium, this may be an important avenue of continued research, noted John Shin, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

A total of 47 studies published since 2006 were included in the review, ranging from small to very large cohort studies and including case-control studies and meta-analyses.

Although the results of the review indicate that plant-based and animal-based foods are better and worse, respectively, in terms of prostate cancer risk, Dr. Shin and his team noted that “it would be helpful to test the validity of these findings through [additional] randomized controlled trials…There is also a need to better understand the possible effect of nondietary lifestyle factors, such as smoking and exercise, on prostate cancer risk, so that future dietary studies can better control for these factors.”

Other authors have previously demonstrated that dairy products are the primary source of calcium in Western nations, and that in Asian countries, dairy intake is relatively low. Perhaps not coincidentally, prostate cancer risk is higher among men residing in Western countries than in those living in Asia.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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