Prostate protection

| Post published on November 29, 2016
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Plant-based diets can be potent in preventing prostate cancer

Genetic factors can play an important role in prostate cancer but lifestyle and diet choices are crucial – they can significantly increase or reduce the risk. Obesity poses a particular risk because it raises the levels of sex hormones which, in turn, increase the risk of this hormone-sensitive cancer. Some sexually transmitted diseases have been linked to a higher risk too, as well as physical inactivity, smoking and alcohol consumption.

Among different foods, the worst offenders were saturated animal fats, red and processed meat and dairy products. These have been linked to prostate cancer in multiple ways, including increasing growth factor and sex hormone levels, harmful by-products of metabolism, carcinogenic compounds and altered cell metabolism.

On the plus side, foods that have been shown to offer protection from prostate cancer are soya, tomatoes (due to lycopene, their red pigment) and green tea. Sufficient vitamin E and D intake is also important in prostate cancer prevention and so is regular intake of selenium – think Brazil nuts.

Perdana NR et al., 2016. The Risk Factors of Prostate Cancer and Its Prevention: A Literature Review. Acta Medica Indonesiana. 48 (3): 228-238.

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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