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Diet Could Be Life or Death for Prostate Cancer Patients

by VR Sreeraman on  June 22, 2007 at 4:19 PM Men´s Health News   - G J E 4
Switching to a healthy diet rich in fish and nuts could be the difference between living or dying for men prone to to prostate cancer, new US research indicates. A study published in the online edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that omega-3 fatty acids found in the foods may improve the prognosis for men with a genetic predisposition to the condition. Working with mice genetically engineered to develop prostate tumors, scientists fed some of the mice a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids from birth.
Diet Could Be Life or Death for Prostate Cancer Patients
Diet Could Be Life or Death for Prostate Cancer Patients
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These mice had fewer tumors and a longer life span than those not fed the diet. Survival was 60 percent in mice fed a high omega-3 diet, 10 percent in mice on a low omega-3 diet and zero percent in mice fed a diet high in omega-6, a different type of polyunsaturated fatty acid found in vegetable oils.

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In normal mice not engineered for prostate cancer, all survived regardless of diet, according to the study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids include cold water fish such as salmon, halibut, tuna, sardines and mackerel, and fish oil such as cod liver oil. English walnuts and flaxseeds also contain omega-3s.

"This study clearly shows that diet can tip the balance toward a good or bad outcome," said Yong Q. Chen, senior researcher at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. "It's possible that a change in diet could mean the difference between dying from the disease and surviving with it." Taking a recommended daily dose of omega-3s can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and lower blood pressure slightly, previous studies have shown.

High doses may have a harmful effect, such as excess bleeding, according to the National Institutes of Health. Prostate cancer is among the leading causes of cancer death in men.

Source: AFP
LIN/M
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