Antioxidants in tea, fruit, veggies might fight prostate cancer: study

October 17, 2012 by Alan Mozes, Healthday Reporter
Antioxidants in tea, fruit, veggies might fight prostate cancer: study
Preliminary research found men who consumed more flavonoids had milder form of the disease.

(HealthDay)—Prostate cancer patients who, before their diagnosis, routinely consumed hefty helpings of the flavonoid compounds found in plant-based foods and drinks may be at lower risk for the most aggressive form of the disease, new research suggests.

But the research has significant limitations, the study authors noted, so it's too soon to say that a plant-based diet protects against .

are found in , as well as in tea, wine, juices and cocoa. Researchers have long theorized that these particular antioxidants may help reduce by fighting inflammation, oxidation, and tumor cell growth.

The new study did not assess the ability of flavonoids to prevent the onset of cancer as a whole. But the investigation, involving about 1,900 patients newly diagnosed with prostate cancer, found that those whose diets included the highest amount of flavonoids were 25 percent less likely to have been diagnosed with the fastest-moving and harshest form of the disease compared to those who had been taking in the fewest flavonoids.

"We compared men with low- to high aggressive," said study lead author Susan Steck, associate professor at the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health. "We did not have a healthy comparison group. So while we think that consuming more will improve the odds of not getting prostate cancer altogether, we can't say that based on our study results."

"But what we are seeing here is the impact of flavonoids on reducing the risk for aggressive prostate cancer," she added. "They may not affect your risk for getting the cancer, but it may mitigate against the kind of cancer you would get."

Steck and her colleagues are scheduled to discuss their findings Wednesday at the annual meeting of the American Association for , in Anaheim, Calif.

The authors looked at self-reported already in place at the time of diagnosis among their patient pool, which included 920 black men and 977 white men. No dietary intervention was imposed after diagnosis.

All the men had been enrolled in the North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project.

The new study found that smokers and men younger than 65 appeared to receive the most protective benefit from fruit and vegetable consumption.

The authors identified green and black tea, as well as orange and grapefruit juice, as the prime sources of flavonoids consumed by study participants. Strawberries, onions, cooked greens, kale and broccoli also were popular flavonoid-rich foods.

No single class of plant-based food was linked on its own to the observed protective effect, leading the team to conclude that the benefit was rooted in a dietary mix of flavonoids.

Dr. Lionel Banez, assistant professor of urologic surgery at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., said the study design makes it hard to read much into the findings.

It is "difficult to be confident about the conclusions," he said, given that the current study was a backward look at patients' recollections of their pre-diagnosis diets.

Banez suggested that the findings of a flavonoid benefit would be more reliable if they had stemmed from a highly controlled study of risk levels among patients who were proactively placed on a specific dietary plan, and then tracked for the future onset of cancer.

"These results are not enough to warrant recommending plant-based diets as regimens to treat prostate cancer or prevent aggressive prostate cancer," he said.

Although the study found an association between flavonoids and risk for a form of prostate cancer, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Because the study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Explore further: Smoking may increase risk of prostate cancer recurrence, death

More information: For more on prostate cancer risk, visit the American Cancer Society.

Related Stories

Smoking may increase risk of prostate cancer recurrence, death

June 21, 2011
A new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and University of California, San Francisco, researchers suggests that men with prostate cancer who smoke increase their risk of prostate cancer recurrence and of dying ...

Coffee may reduce risk of lethal prostate cancer in men

May 17, 2011
Men who regularly drink coffee appear to have a lower risk of developing a lethal form of prostate cancer, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers. What's more, the lower risk was ...

Recommended for you

Alternative splicing, an important mechanism for cancer

September 22, 2017
Cancer, which is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, arises from the disruption of essential mechanisms of the normal cell life cycle, such as replication control, DNA repair and cell death. Thanks to the advances ...

'Labyrinth' chip could help monitor aggressive cancer stem cells

September 21, 2017
Inspired by the Labyrinth of Greek mythology, a new chip etched with fluid channels sends blood samples through a hydrodynamic maze to separate out rare circulating cancer cells into a relatively clean stream for analysis. ...

Drug combination may improve impact of immunotherapy in head and neck cancer

September 21, 2017
Checkpoint inhibitor-based immunotherapy has been shown to be very effective in recurrent and metastatic head and neck cancer but only in a minority of patients. University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers ...

Whole food diet may help prevent colon cancer, other chronic conditions

September 21, 2017
A diet that includes plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits may contain compounds that can stop colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases in pigs, according to an international team of researchers. Understanding how ...

New kinase detection method helps identify targets for developing cancer drugs

September 21, 2017
Purdue University researchers have developed a high-throughput method for matching kinases to the proteins they phosphorylate, speeding the ability to identify multiple potential cancer drug targets.

Poliovirus therapy induces immune responses against cancer

September 20, 2017
An investigational therapy using modified poliovirus to attack cancer tumors appears to unleash the body's own capacity to fight malignancies by activating an inflammation process that counter's the ability of cancer cells ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.