Prostate cancer: the types of foods that could promote it

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Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. The origins of this disease are multiple. Age is one of the main predisposing factors to this pathology. And for good reason, it would mainly affect men over 50. Another cause: heredity. People with at least two close relatives who have had prostate cancer are more likely to develop the condition. But these risk factors are not the only ones. According to a research team led by Professor Marie-Élise Parent of the National Institute for Scientific Research (INRS), diet is also associated with an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer: three food profiles studied

To reach this conclusion, the Canadian research team performed a study in which they show the link between the onset of prostate cancer and certain poor eating habits. To carry out their research, the results of which were published on June 27 in the journal Nutrients, the scientists reviewed data from a survey carried out in Montreal between 2005 and 2012. In total, 4,000 men took part in this survey and provided information on their eating habits.

To determine whether diet is an important component in the development of prostate cancer, the researchers identified and studied three dietary profiles: a healthy diet, a Western diet with salt and alcohol, and a Western diet with sweets and drinks.

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Scientists explain that the first eating pattern is characterized by a high consumption of fruits, vegetables and plant proteins like tofu and nuts. The salty and alcoholic western model includes more meats and drinks like beer and wine. The third model is distinguished by a high consumption of pasta, pizza, sweet desserts and soft drinks. The authors also considered age, ethnicity, education, family history, and date of last screening for prostate cancer.

Poor diet could lead to prostate cancer

Result: a healthy diet would reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. As for the Western model with sweets and drinks, it has been associated with an increased risk and could promote more aggressive cancers. In contrast, the study showed no clear link between the Western diet with salt and alcohol and the risk of developing the disease.

“It is not easy to isolate the effect of a single nutrient. For example, foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, promote the absorption of iron. As for calcium, it is often consumed through dairy products that also contain vitamin D. Our more analytical approach can take this synergy into account and the results are more relevant at the level of public health to make recommendations. Rather than betting on a miracle food, we adopt a food profile “, specify the researchers.

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Prostate cancer: prepared meals increase the risk

The authors also assumed that men ate more processed foods or ready meals. “I believe (the higher risk of cancer) may be related to the level of food processing. More processed foods are going to have more molecules that can be harmful to your health.”, specified Karine Trudeau, lead author of the study. To reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer, it is therefore advisable to consume fruits, vegetables, tofu, yogurt and nuts.

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