Following a healthy diet is one of the easiest ways to prevent many illnesses and diseases throughout life. Several diseases may be prevented by making a few changes in your eating habits, as well as by eating certain nutrients and making physical activity part of your daily routine. One of these diseases isprostatecancer.
Early detection is the key to preventing prostate cancer from becoming fatal; therefore it is important to make men aware of the disease and how to help prevent it.
A lot of information is available about lycopene (a type of beta-carotene found in tomatoes, watermelon, guava, apricots, and grapefruit) and the prevention of prostate cancer. Recently, an analysis of 80 epidemiologic studies about the relationship of lycopene consumption and the incidence of prostate cancer revealed that evidence is not conclusive enough to provide specific recommendations. Therefore, the general recommendation is to promote the consumption of a variety of fruitsand vegetables,and not just focus on those that are sources of lycopene.The vegetables that have been more commonly linked to the prevention of prostate cancer are: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. This is because of their isothiocyanates (sulphur containing phytochemicals) con tent which are thought to prevent the development of cancer. 2
Another substance that could be beneficial in the prevention of prostate cancer is soluble fiber,according to a study published in the Clinics in Office Practice magazine in 2006.
This study has also linked soy to the prevention of this type of cancer due to its content of isoflavones.These substances partially reduce the levels of testosterone, thus helping to delay the progression of prostate cancer. The most highly recommended soy products are: tofu, tempeh, soy beans, and soy milk.
The Netherlands Cohort Study did not find any association between the total amount of fat in the diet and the incidence of prostate cancer. However, it did reveal that a high intake of omega-3 fatty acids is related to a lower risk of developing this disease. The recommendation from study group is to include 1-3 tablespoons of ground linseed in your diet daily to achieve this benefit. Linseed supplements and oils were not tested.
The Health Professionals Follow-up Study also proved that the consumption of oily fish(mackerel, salmon, tuna, sardines, swordfish) three times a week is related to a lower risk of prostate cancer, compared to a consumption of two times a month or less. Nutsmight have a similar effect, since they are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, fiber, and flavonoids, though there is no existing research to support this theory.
The researchers in this study recommend taking vitamin supplementsin low doses and avoid taking just individual vitamin Esupplements, since doses higher than 50 IU may increase mortality from cardiovascular disease and other causes.
- Primary Care: Clinics In Office practice (2006). Step by Step Lifestyle changes That Can Improve Urologic Health in Men, Part II. Retrieved in August, 2008 from www.mdconsult.com
- Broccoli Sprouts: An exceptionally rich source of inducers of enzymes that protect against chemical carcinogens. Retrieved in September, 2008 from www.pnas.org
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