Researchers conducted a comprehensive review of scientific literature investigating associations between plant- and animal-based diet and prostate cancer risk.
Around one in nine Canadian men are diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lifetime. Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among men. There has been evidence that suggests plant-based food products such as vegetables are associated with a reduced risk of developing prostate cancer and animal-based products such as meat and dairy correlate with an increased risk of prostate cancer.
A comprehensive review, led by researchers from the Mayo Clinic, further investigated the association between plant- and animal-based diets and prostate cancer risk. The review, published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, involved searching for scientific literature, using the Ovid Medline, PubMed and Embase databases. The authors reviewed 47 studies that were published between 2006 and 2017 and had comprised of more than one million human participants. Examining such large amounts of data enabled the researchers to obtain a broad perspective of the effects of current dietary patterns on prostate cancer risk.
The results of the review suggest that a plant-based diet is associated with a reduced risk of developing prostate cancer. The researchers found no clear association between animal products such as meat and fish and prostate cancer risk, however, dairy was associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. Based on the results of the study, the researchers highlighted high dairy consumption as a cause for concern and support fora plant-based diet.
The authors also raise the possibility that calcium can be playing an important role in associating diet and prostate cancer risk, as dairy is a primary source of calcium for people in Western countries. The consumption of dairy products is high in western countries, which has been correlated with a higher risk of prostate cancer. However, in Asian countries, the consumption of dairy is low and has been associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer.
Dr. Shin, the lead author, suggests that more research will be needed to better understand the associations between diet and prostate cancer risk. Future research work may include conducting randomized controlled trials that will test the validity of the findings. The researchers note the need to better understand the effects of non-dietary lifestyle choices such as smoking and exercise, on prostate cancer risk, to control for those factors in future dietary studies.
Written by Ranjani Sabarinathan, MSc
Shin J, Millstine D, Ruddy B, et al. (2019). Effect of Plant- and Animal-Based Foods on Prostate Cancer Risk. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2019.123
Mayo Clinic researchers find dairy products associated with higher risk of prostate cancer. (2019, October 21). Retrieved from https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-10/aoa-mcr101819.php
Prostate cancer statistics. https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/prostate/statistics/?region=on
Image by Дарья Яковлева from Pixabay