October 12, 2017
A compilation of case-control studies concluded that cow’s milk consumption is a risk factor for prostate cancer, and the same outcome was found for cohort studies. A 2015 meta-analysis found that high intakes of dairy products—milk, low-fat milk, and cheese, but not nondairy sources of calcium—appear to increase total prostate cancer risk.
Harvard University researchers recruited more than a thousand men with early-stage prostate cancer and followed them for several years. Compared with men who rarely ate eggs, men who ate even less than a single egg a day appeared to have twice the risk of prostate cancer progression, such as metastasizing into the bones. The only thing potentially worse for prostate cancer than eggs was poultry: Men with more aggressive cancer who regularly ate chicken and turkey had up to four times the risk of prostate cancer progression.
The incidence of clinically malignant prostate cancer is highest in African-Americans—some 30-fold greater than in Japanese men, and 120 times greater than seen in Chinese men in Shanghai.
In general terms, the Western diet is one in which animal protein and fat consumption is high, whereas the fiber intake is low. In contrast, the proportion of the total caloric intake from animal fat in the more vegetarian-style Asian diet is low, and the fiber content is higher.
So, maybe diet is playing a role in some of these diseases. But, these healthier diets are not just low in animal proteins and fat, and high in starch and fiber—they are also rich in weak plant estrogens.
It was found that higher levels of phytoestrogens in the prostate fluids of men in countries with relatively low rates of prostate cancer. In vitro studies have shown lignans can slow the growth of prostate cancer cells in a petri dish. So, a pilot study was launched on flax seed supplementation in men, with prostate cancer, before surgery.
Why flax seeds? Because, while these anti-cancer lignans are found throughout the plant kingdom, flax seeds have up to 800 times more than any other food. So, they took a bunch of men with prostate cancer, about a month before they were scheduled for surgery to get their prostates removed, and started them on a relatively low-fat diet, with three tablespoons of ground flax seed, to see what effect that might have on the growth of their tumors.
And, though they were skeptical that they would observe any difference in tumor biology in the diet-treated patients with such a short-term dietary intervention, just within those few weeks, they found significantly lower cancer proliferation rates, and significantly higher rates of cancer cell death
So, what foods are more likely to be protective against prostate cancer?
Here’s the list:
Foods to avoid are: Meat, Fish, Chicken, Dairy and Eggs
Men who wish to limit their risk of prostate cancer should eat a plant-based whole food diet and eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. It may be best to supplement with green tea and flaxseeds and consider using the spice — turmeric. Avoid animal products — especially dairy.
Don Fisher D.O.
Medical Director/ Physician
The BEST Program, Inc.