Prostate cancer: what to eat to avoid it

The beneficial properties of cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc. could play a leading role in the prevention of prostate cancer. Other foods also have a protective effect against cancer. Prostate cancer prevention is also on the plate.

In Western countries, one in six men will be affected by prostate cancer in their lifetime. Although this disease is very common in our societies, it is interesting to note that it is much rarer in other regions of the world, especially in Asian countries. For example, the Indians or the Chinese have prostate cancer rates up to 50 times lower than North Americans. These differences are not due to heredity, because Asian men who emigrate to the West run 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. And among these factors, numerous studies have shown that the composition of the diet plays a key role in the development of this disease.

60% lower risk of prostate cancer

A clinical study recently published in the prestigious journal of the American National Cancer Institute dramatically illustrates the impact of diet on the risk of prostate cancer. In this large-scale study (29,361 men), Dr. Richard Hayes’ team observed that men who consumed a large amount of vegetables (9 portions per day) ran a 60% lower risk of being affected by cancer. of the prostate, more particularly the aggressive forms of this cancer which are found outside the gland (stages III and IV). Analysis of the effect of different groups of vegetables consumed has shown that this protective effect is essentially due to cruciferous vegetables. For example, men who ate more than one serving of broccoli (1/2 cup) per week saw their risk of prostate cancer decrease by 45% compared to those who rarely ate it, that is say less than once a month.

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Similar protective effects were also seen in other members of the cruciferous family, with significant reductions in prostate cancer risk following regular consumption of cauliflower (52% reduction), cabbage including sauerkraut (36%) – and Brussels sprouts (29%).

It therefore seems that the exceptional content of cruciferous vegetables in anticancer molecules (sulforaphane, phethyl isothiocyanate, indole-3-carbinol, etc.) makes it possible to slow down the development of prostate cancer, in particular the aggressive forms. These results are extremely important since prostate cancers with a high degree of malignancy are generally a bad omen and too often lead to the death of those affected.

Preventing prostate cancer, what you need to know

Prevention is undoubtedly the best strategy to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. In addition to cruciferous vegetables, it is also possible to take advantage of the extensive information acquired over the past few years and to make in-depth lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of being affected by the disease. More specifically:

– maintaining a normal weight: obese people are more at risk of prostate cancer with a high degree of malignancy;

– an increase in omega-3 intake: recent studies indicate that men with a high blood level of omega-3s run a lower risk of being affected by prostate cancer;

– the inclusion of certain other foods in their consumption habits. Indeed, laboratory studies have shown that molecules present in red wine, green tea, soy, flax seeds and in algae all have the property of blocking the growth of cells isolated from prostate cancers. Their consumption could therefore play an important role in the prevention of this disease.

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Kirsch et al. Prospective Study of Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Risk of Prostate Cancer J. Natl. Cancer Institute; 99:1200-1209.


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