Prostate protection

Plant-based diets can be potent in preventing prostate cancer

Genetic factors can play an important role in prostate cancer but lifestyle and diet choices are crucial – they can significantly increase or reduce the risk. Obesity poses a particular risk because it raises the levels of sex hormones which, in turn, increase the risk of this hormone-sensitive cancer. Some sexually transmitted diseases have been linked to a higher risk too, as well as physical inactivity, smoking and alcohol consumption.

Among different foods, the worst offenders were saturated animal fats, red and processed meat and dairy products. These have been linked to prostate cancer in multiple ways, including increasing growth factor and sex hormone levels, harmful by-products of metabolism, carcinogenic compounds and altered cell metabolism.

On the plus side, foods that have been shown to offer protection from prostate cancer are soya, tomatoes (due to lycopene, their red pigment) and green tea. Sufficient vitamin E and D intake is also important in prostate cancer prevention and so is regular intake of selenium – think Brazil nuts.

Perdana NR et al., 2016. The Risk Factors of Prostate Cancer and Its Prevention: A Literature Review. Acta Medica Indonesiana. 48 (3): 228-238.