Mediterranean-Asian diet may help prevent prostate cancer, study shows


A University of South Australia-led research has found that regular consumption of a Mediterranean or Asian diet reduces the risk of prostate cancer diagnosis in men.

University of South Australia researchers have found that a diet rich in colourful fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of prostate cancer. Two studies published in the journal Cancers suggest that a Mediterranean or Asian diet, which includes foods rich in micronutrients, can help prevent prostate cancer and speed up recovery for men undergoing radiation treatment.

The study compared micronutrient plasma concentrations of prostate cancer patients with a healthy control group and found low levels of lutein, lycopene, alpha-carotene, and selenium in PC patients, while high levels of iron, sulphur and calcium were found in the same group, relative to controls.

Increased DNA damage after radiation exposure was also associated with low lycopene and selenium in blood plasma.

Men with low lycopene and selenium levels have an increased risk of prostate cancer and are more sensitive to the damaging effects of radiation.

Foods rich in lycopene include tomatoes, melons, papayas, grapes, peaches, watermelons, and cranberries. Selenium-rich foods include white meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, and nuts.

Study co-author Dr Permal Deo said eating foods that are naturally rich in lycopene and selenium is preferable to taking supplements, where the benefits are limited, according to previous studies.

“Our recommendation is to adopt a Mediterranean diet enlisting the help of a dietician because people absorb nutrients in different ways, depending on the food, the digestive system, the person’s genotype and possibly their microbiome,” Dr Deo said.

Prostate cancer is one of the most common and fatal cancers in men, and while other risk factors such as ethnicity, family history, and age have been linked to it, the nutritional deficiencies associated with it remain largely unknown. The study was the first to evaluate plasma concentrations of micronutrients and trace elements with respect to prostate cancer in the South Australian population.

Source: The University of South Australia.


Next Up