Several observations suggest that it is possible to significantly reduce the development of prostate cancer by making certain changes to one’s diet.
Prostate cancer: a very western pathology
Although very common in industrialized countries, prostate cancer remains a much rarer disease in other regions of the world, particularly in Asian countries. For example, the Indians or the Chinese have rates of prostate cancer several times lower than those of Western countries, the men of these countries being in some cases 50 times less affected by prostate cancer than Westerners.
These differences are not due to heredity, because Asian men who emigrate to the West have the same risk of being affected by prostate cancer as the inhabitants of their host country. It is therefore clear that a large proportion of prostate cancers are directly caused by factors related to Western lifestyle. Among these factors, numerous studies have shown that the composition of the diet plays a key role in the development of this disease.
Blocking prostate cancer when it’s still vulnerable
Pathology studies carried out on people who died of causes other than cancer show that a third of men in their forties have microscopic tumors in their prostate and are therefore at high risk of developing cancer of this organ.
Like several types of cancer, however, the transformation of these micro-tumors into mature cancer is a slow process, which can take several years and even decades before culminating in the formation of a clinically detectable tumor.
This long latency period offers a golden opportunity to intervene to restrict the progression of prostate cancer, because these microscopic tumors are vulnerable and their growth can be suppressed in the presence of molecules with anti-cancer properties.
And this is where food comes in: some foods contain exceptional amounts of anticancer molecules that interfere with the progression of these micro-tumors by preventing them from acquiring new characteristics essential to their development.
Changing the diet to include these foods therefore represents an extremely promising strategy to prevent the development of prostate cancer and reduce the negative impact of this disease in Western societies.
FOODS AGAINST PROSTATE CANCER
A number of foods with the ability to decrease the risk of being affected by prostate cancer have been listed in recent years.
Here are the most important.
1) Cruciferous vegetables: it has been clearly established that regular consumption of these vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, turnip, etc.) can significantly reduce the risk of developing a variety of cancers, especially prostate cancer. This beneficial effect of crucifers comes mainly from their ability to block the carcinogenic potential of a large number of particularly dangerous substances that can alter the genetic material of the cell (DNA) and induce damage that will lead to the development of cancer. .
2) Green tea: several studies have shown that regular consumption of green tea reduces the risk of being affected by certain types of cancer, especially those of the bladder and prostate. The most important anti-cancer molecule in green tea, EGCG, has the property of blocking certain mechanisms used by cancer cells to grow and invade tissues, in particular by preventing the formation of a new network of blood vessels by the process of angiogenesis.
3) Tomatoes: Some observations have shown that the incidence of prostate cancer is lower in countries where people consume many tomato-based dishes, such as Italy, Spain and Mexico. It seems that this protection is linked to the presence of lycopene, a pigment capable of interfering with the growth of precancerous prostate cells. To maximize the effect of lycopene, it is important to consume cooked tomatoes, ideally in a fatty substance such as olive oil, in the form of a sauce for example. Cooking tomatoes in the fatty substance increases the quantity of lycopene and makes it much more assimilable by the cells of our body.
4 Fats in the diet: recent studies show that omega-3 fatty acids prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells. The best sources of omega-3s are fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring, as well as flax seeds, which can be added freshly ground to morning cereals.