Men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer should switch to a vegetarian diet rich in vegetables, fruits, fish, whole grains and healthy oils. A new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has revealed that consuming Western diet, which includes red and processed meat, high-fat dairy foods, and refined grains can significantly increase risk of both prostate cancer-related mortality and overall mortality compared with eating a vegetarian diet.
Assistant Professor Jorge Chavarro, at the Harvard Chan School and senior author of the study said, "Our results suggest that a heart-healthy diet may benefit these men by specifically reducing their chances of dying of prostate cancer."
Researchers examined the health and diet data from 926 men participating in the Physicians' Health Study I and II who were diagnosed with prostate cancer. They found that men who ate mostly a Western diet had 2.5 times higher risk of prostate cancer-related death, and a 67% increased risk of death from any cause, than those in the lowest quartile. Men who ate mostly a 'prudent' diet had a 36% lower risk of death from all causes.
Lead author Meng Yang, research fellow at Harvard, said, "The results are encouraging and added to the scant literature on this area, but it was important to keep in mind that all study participants are physicians and most are white."
The study appears online in Cancer Prevention Research.