What if diet also had a role in the proper functioning of the prostate? A recent study suggests that prostate cancer may also depend on diet.

The study takes place in Montreal. The medical results of 4,000 men, examined between 2005 and 2012, are combed through by an INRS (Institut national de recherche et de sécurité) researcher, Professor Marie-Elise Parent. She sought to understand whether there was be a link between prostate cancer and diet. And the answer is rather convincing, underlines the study.

To come to this conclusion, she divided the 4,000 male profiles studied into three food categories: healthy (mainly vegetable), western with salt and alcohol, and western with sweets and drinks (pasta, pizza, sodas). On the other hand, she also took into account the age of the subjects, the medical history of the patients, ethnicity but also education.

Not surprisingly, she found that men who eat a healthy diet are less likely to develop prostate cancer. And that those whose diet consisted of sugar and carbonated drinks developed more aggressive prostate cancers. But against all expectations, the diet based on salt and alcohol (beer and wine) did not show a clear link with this type of cancer.

The choice of a “food profile”, rather than isolating one or more potentially risky foods, makes it possible to make more general nutritional recommendations, following this study. “Rather than betting on a miracle food, we need to adopt a dietary profile” to guard against prostate cancer, the researcher concluded.

Prostate cancer occurs late in life and usually progresses slowly. Many affected men will therefore die from something other than their cancer. “It is estimated that 70% of 80-year-old men have prostate cancer,” recalls Dr. Jean-Baptiste Méric. It is quite different for younger men or people at risk (Afro-Caribbean patients, men whose father or grandfather died of prostate cancer, etc.). For these, it is better to be screened from the age of 45; for others, from 50 years old.

Prostate cancer does not benefit from “organized screening” like colon cancer. The assessment is carried out at the patient’s request or at the initiative of the attending physician.

Joseph Mandell

Mandell is currently working towards a medical degree from the University of Central Florida. His main passions include kayaking, playing soccer and tasting good food. He covers mostly science, health and environmental stories for the Scientific Origin.