Plant-Based Diets for Prostate Cancer Prevention

Plant-Based Diets for Prostate Cancer Prevention


Research conducted by UC San Francisco emphasizes the profound impact of a plant-based diet on lowering the risk of prostate cancer progression in men with localized disease. By adopting a dietary regimen rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and olive oil, individuals can potentially reduce the likelihood of their cancer advancing by up to 47%, as indicated by a study encompassing over 2,000 participants.


The study's findings underline the significance of incorporating more plant-based foods into daily consumption habits while moderating the intake of animal products, showcasing a nearly 50% decrease in the risk of prostate cancer progression. Participants who augmented their diet with additional servings of nutrient-dense foods, particularly vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, while minimizing the consumption of animal-derived products like dairy and meat, exhibited notable improvements in health outcomes.


Plant-based diets, characterized by an array of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, vegetable oils, tea, and coffee, offer a spectrum of health benefits that extend beyond prostate cancer prevention. The researchers assessed dietary patterns using a plant-based index and observed substantial differences in cancer progression risk between individuals ranking in the top 20% and those in the bottom 20%.


Vivian N. Liu, the former lead clinical research coordinator at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Health and primary author of the study published in JAMA Network Open, underscores the holistic advantages of embracing a predominantly plant-based diet. The study's insights hold promise in steering individuals towards making comprehensive, health-promoting dietary choices that transcend mere food selection.


As plant-based diets gain traction in the United States, the evidence supporting their benefits for individuals with prostate cancer continues to mount. Fruits and vegetables, teeming with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, serve as pivotal components in shielding against prostate cancer progression, reinforcing the pivotal role of dietary factors in bolstering overall health and well-being.


Senior author Stacey A. Kenfield, ScD, a respected UCSF professor of urology and the Helen Diller Family Chair in Population Science for Urologic Cancer, advocates for incremental dietary modifications to reap lasting benefits. Enhanced consumption of plant-based foods post-prostate cancer diagnosis has been linked to improved quality of life indicators, encompassing sexual function, urinary health, and vitality, underscoring the multifaceted advantages of embracing a plant-forward approach.


Reference: “Plant-Based Diets and Disease Progression in Men With Prostate Cancer” by Vivian N. Liu et al., 1 May 2024, JAMA Network Open.