A more complete Mediterranean diet may protect against aggressive prostate cancer

January 10, 2018, Elsevier
Adjusted relative risk ratios (RRR) and 95% confidence intervals for the association between prostate cancer incidence and the scores of adherence to Western, Prudent, and Mediterranean dietary patterns in MCC-Spain study by tumor aggressiveness and extension. Credit: The Journal of Urology

In a new study published in The Journal of Urology, researchers determined that men who followed a Mediterranean diet, rich in fish, boiled potatoes, whole fruits, vegetables, legumes, and olive oil, and low consumption of juices had lower risk of aggressive prostate cancer (PC) than those who followed other dietary patterns like Prudent or Western diets.

Although PC is the most common type of cancer in men and can have a high mortality rate, evidence linking PC to specific environmental, occupational, or dietary exposures has been limited. Recent studies have investigated whether certain impact cancer risks, but the results have been inconsistent.

"This study adds important evidence to the scarce information regarding the association of diet with PC, and highlights the relevance of focusing on global dietary patterns," explained lead investigator Beatriz Perez-Gomez, Ph.D., Cancer and Environmental Epidemiology Unit, National Center for Epidemiology, Instituto de Salud Carlos III (Madrid). "Our results show that a diet oriented towards the prevention of aggressive tumors in the prostate should probably include important elements of the Mediterranean diet such as fish, legumes, and , and suggest that a high intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains might not be enough."

The authors explored the relationship between the risk of having PC and dietary patterns as part of the MCC-Spain study, a Spanish case-control study that involved 733 patients with histologically confirmed PC and 1,229 healthy men with a mean age of 66 years from seven Spanish regions. Anthropometric, epidemiologic, and dietary data were collected.

Adherence to the three dietary patterns of Western, Prudent, and Mediterranean, which characterize the of the Spanish population, was evaluated, The Western pattern includes consumption of large amounts of fatty dairy products, refined grains, processed meat, caloric beverages, sweets, fast food, and sauces. The Prudent pattern involves consumption of low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and juices. Finally, the Mediterranean pattern consists of high consumption of fish, boiled potatoes, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and olive oil, and low of juices. The diets were graded according to the degree of adherence to each pattern and assigned to four quartiles from lower to higher adherence within each pattern.

Only a high adherence to Mediterranean dietary pattern appeared to be associated with a lower risk of aggressive PC. Prudent and Mediterranean dietary patterns showed different effects in low and high grade tumors.

PC was assessed using Gleason scores of tumor aggressiveness (<6 or ?6) and clinical stage (cT1b to cT4). A Gleason score of <6 typically indicates a less aggressive tumor with generally good prognosis. Lower clinical stage (cT1-cT2a) indicates a tumor that has not spread. Results indicated that for more aggressive and more extensive tumors (Gleason >6 and stages cT2b to cT4), only high adherence to the Mediterranean diet showed a statistically significant protective effect. All other dietary patterns and tumor characteristics showed little or no correlation and did not achieve statistical significance.

Emphasizing the findings that the degree of adherence to a particular can affect the risk for PC, co-author Adela Castelló. Ph.D., Cancer and Environmental Epidemiology Unit, National Center for Epidemiology, Instituto de Salud Carlos III (Madrid), commented, "There is a striking contrast between the relevance of prostate cancer in terms of public health and the evidence regarding its primary prevention. If other researchers confirm these results, the promotion of the Mediterranean dietary might be an efficient way of reducing the risk of developing advanced PC, in addition to lowering the risk of other prevalent health problems in men such as cardiovascular disease. Dietary recommendations should take into account whole patterns instead of focusing on individual foods."

Explore further: Western diet may contribute to dense breasts

More information: Adela Castelló et al, Mediterranean Dietary Pattern is Associated with Low Risk of Aggressive Prostate Cancer: MCC-Spain Study, The Journal of Urology (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.juro.2017.08.087

Related Stories

Western diet may contribute to dense breasts

August 10, 2016
(HealthDay)—Overweight and obese women who eat a Western diet may develop more dense breast tissue, possibly increasing their risk for breast cancer, according to research published in the September issue of Obstetrics ...

Western diet may increase risk of death after prostate cancer diagnosis

June 1, 2015
After a prostate cancer diagnosis, eating a diet higher in red and processed meat, high-fat dairy foods, and refined grains—known as a Western diet—may lead to a significantly higher risk of both prostate cancer-related ...

AAIC: Mediterranean diet may help preserve cognitive function

July 18, 2017
(HealthDay)—Eating right may help protect brain health in old age, a group of new studies show. The research was scheduled for presentation at the annual Alzheimer's Association International Conference, held from July ...

Western diet increases Alzheimer's risk

August 26, 2016
Globally, about 42 million people now have dementia, with Alzheimer's disease as the most common type of dementia. Rates of Alzheimer's disease are rising worldwide. The most important risk factors seem to be linked to diet, ...

Cognitive function up with adherence to mediterranean diet

July 10, 2017
(HealthDay)—For older adults, greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) and the Mediterranean-DASH diet Intervention for Neurodegeneration Delay (MIND) is associated with improved cognitive function, according ...

Not all plant-based diets are created equal

July 17, 2017
Plant-based diets are recommended to reduce the risk of heart disease; however, some plant-based diets are associated with a higher risk of heart disease, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American ...

Recommended for you

Week 34 of pregnancy reduces breast cancer risk: study

October 23, 2018
Women's bodies undergo a "striking" change during a specific week of pregnancy that can significantly reduce their risk of developing breast cancer later in life, scientists said Tuesday.

New combination treatment flips the switch on melanoma cells

October 23, 2018
Think of the protein BH3 like a finger that turns off a cancer cell survival switch. The problem is that most cancer cells have found ways to remove this "finger—commonly, by breaking the action of a gene called p53 that ...

Desperate & duped? GoFundMe means big bucks for dubious care

October 23, 2018
People seeking dubious, potentially harmful treatment for cancer and other ailments raised nearly $7 million over two years from crowdfunding sites, a study found.

New kind of compound shows early promise against prostate cancer

October 23, 2018
A new type of molecule blocks the action of genes that drive the growth of therapy-resistant prostate cancer, a new study finds.

Marker found for condition that causes numerous tumors

October 23, 2018
UT Southwestern researchers have made a major advance in uncovering the biology of how thousands of disfiguring skin tumors occur in patients troubled by a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). This scientific ...

Urban and rural rates of childhood cancer survival the same, study finds

October 23, 2018
Childhood and adolescent cancer survival in the United States does not vary by rural/urban residence at the time of diagnosis, finds a new study from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

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.