Men with localized prostate cancer who followed a Mediterranean-style diet fared better throughout their disease, revealed University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center researchers.
"Men with prostate cancer are motivated to find a way to impact the advancement of their disease and improve their quality of life," said Justin Gregg, M.D., assistant professor of Urology and lead author of the study, published today in Cancer.
Men with a diet that contained more fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals, and fish had a decreased prostate cancer risk. The researchers also examined the effect of diabetes and statin use and found a similar risk reduction in these patient groups.
"The Mediterranean diet consistently has been linked to lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and mortality. This study in men with early stage prostate cancer gets us another step closer to providing evidence-based dietary recommendations to optimize outcomes in cancer patients, who along with their families, have many questions in this area," said Carrie Daniel-MacDougall, Ph.D., associate professor of Epidemiology and senior author of the study.
The study followed 410 men on an active surveillance protocol with Gleason grade group 1 or 2 localized prostate cancer. All study participants underwent a confirmatory biopsy at the beginning of the study and were evaluated every six months through the clinical exam and laboratory studies of serum antigen PSA and testosterone.
Trial participants were 82.9% Caucasian, 8.1% Black, and 9% other or unknown. The median age was 64, 15% of the men had diabetes, and 44% used statins.
The men completed a 170-item baseline food frequency questionnaire, and a Mediterranean diet score was calculated for each participant across 9 energy-adjusted food groups. The participants were then divided into three groups: high, medium, and low adherence to the diet.
The study has identified a significant association between high baseline diet score and lower risk of cancer grade progression.
Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
- Prevents heart disease and stroke
- Keeps you agile
- Reduces Alzheimer's disease risk
- Increases longevity
- Protects against type 2 diabetes