Prostate cancer cholesterol link

| Post published on June 2, 2006
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Men with high cholesterol levels are more likely to get prostate cancer according to new research published in the Annals of Oncology. Dr Francesca Bravi, lead researcher of this study, found that men with prostate cancer were 50 per cent more likely to have had high cholesterol levels before they were diagnosed with cancer. The importance of this research is that it suggests that people can do something themselves to reduce the chances of getting this disease. Cholesterol levels are determined to a large extent by the diet – diets high in animal protein and saturated animal fats drive up cholesterol levels, while diets containing plenty of soluble fibre help reduce cholesterol. Good sources of soluble fibre include oats, beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, fruit and vegetables. Studies have also shown that replacing animal protein with soya protein reduces blood cholesterol, even when the fat intake remains unchanged. This could explain why rates of prostate cancer in parts of China and Japan are up to 90 per cent less than in the West.

Bravi F, Scotti L, Bosetti C, Talamini R, Negri E, Montella M, Franceschi S, La Vecchia C. 2006. Self-reported history of hypercholesterolaemia and gallstones and the risk of prostate cancer. Annals of Oncology. 17 (6) 1014-1017.

About the author
Dr. Justine Butler
I joined Viva! as a health campaigner in 2005 after graduating from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology. My scientific training helped me research and write numerous reports, guides and fact sheets for Viva! including Meat the Truth, Fish-Free for Life, One in Nine (breast cancer and diet) and the substantial report on the detrimental health effects of consuming dairy; White Lies. This accompanied Viva!’s report The Dark Side of Dairy which spelt out the inherent cruelty of dairy farming. We were the first UK group to take on the dairy industry in this way, and many of our supporters go vegan after reading these reports.

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