Reduce the risk of prostate cancer through diet, what does not benefit you?


It is the most frequent type of cancer in men (excluding skin) in both the United States and Europe, where it is the third leading cause of death after lung and colorectal cancer.

In Spain, 18,872 new cases of prostate cancer are detected each year (81.25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants), according to the co-director of the Urology Department of the San Rafael Hospital in Madrid. Edilberto Fernández, as well as the head of the Medical Oncology service at the MD Anderson Center in Madrid, Enrique Grande, at 'Healthy Eating' (Books Dome).

In his opinion, with some treatments under discussion for their important rate of side effects, it would be desirable to be able to establish prevention mechanisms that act on said disease, among which nutritional factors could be found.

"We have identified a number of risk factors involved in the carcinogenesis of prostate cancer, including age, race, various genetic factors and diet. Prostate cancer is closely linked to advanced age, it rarely appears before age 40 and age average appearance in Spain is 74 years ", they underline.

In addition, they indicate that there are important geographical differences in the incidence of prostate cancer worldwide, what they consider may mean that "Some dietary factors may influence the development of cancer, either by playing an activating role or as an inhibitor of carcinogenesis."

Although they warn that the effects of diet on prostate cancer are currently a question mark, they believe that specific changes in diet should be started at an early age in order to have an effect. Thus, from the point of view of prostate cancer prevention, they maintain that, among others, they are considered as potentially protective factors against prostate cancer:

– lycopenes, due to its antioxidant potential neutralizing free radicals, and carotenoids, precursors of vitamin A. Different studies show a reduction of up to 20% in the risk of suffering from prostate cancer with a diet rich in these substances. They can be found in tomatoes, watermelons, grapefruit and other fruits and vegetables.

– Cruciferous vegetables since they contain abundant semen, micronutrients (vitamin C, E and folate) and chemicals (carotenoids, phenols, isoavones, isothiocyanates, indoles), with biological activity as anticarcinogens. Abundant intake of fruits and vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of many types of cancer. The consumption of high doses of vegetables, especially cruciferous ones, like broccoli and colúrio, has reducing effect on the risk of prostate cancer. They can also be found in carrots, spinach, garlic, cabbage, leeks, chives, green lettuce and green asparagus.

– Vitamin E Supplements In some studies, they have shown a reduction in the incidence and mortality of prostate cancer, although in others it has been shown to be ineffective. It can be found naturally in products like sunflower seeds, paprika and red pepper powder, almonds, peanuts, herbs such as basil and oregano, apricots, green olives, spinach, taro root or hazelnuts.

– SeleniumIt also presented contradictory results in relation to its role as a protective agent in prostate cancer in several studies. In different doses, it presents several anticarogenic activities, including antioxidant protection, brake of carcinogenic metabolism, immune stimulation and cell death. Some studies have shown a reduction in the rate of prostate cancer. It can be found in nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts), pumpkin seeds, vegetables, cucumbers, garlic, asparagus, vegetables, cereals (corn, oats, wheat), fruits, mushrooms, meats, seafood, eggs, milk and derivatives.

– Vitamin D awareness It is considered a risk factor for the development of prostate cancer, since its metabolites have a protective action against carcinogenesis.

– Caffeine and phenolic acid, active components of coffee, have antioxidant activity. Studies have shown that men who regularly consume coffee have a lower risk of developing advanced or lethal prostate cancer.

– The Mediterranean diet, considered today to protect against many types of cancers and cardiovascular diseases, has high content of fruits, vegetables, pasta and includes a moderate consumption of wine, this combination being excellent to recommend it among the population.

Instead Factors that improve prostate cancer are considered:

-Calcium, since it suppresses the endogenous synthesis of vitamin D, which inhibits the proliferation of neoplastic prostatic cells. It also raises blood levels of certain hormones that promote tissue growth and have been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer. The increased risk is small and occurs in cases of high intake of dairy products, in which a relative increase in certain more aggressive tumor variants was observed. Milk, dairy products and eggs are rich in calcium.

zinc may play a role in suppressing the growth of prostatic neoplastic cells and in inhibiting tumor invasion. Long-term intake of zinc as a stand-alone supplement or as part of multivitamin preparations is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. It can be found in cocoa, watermelon seeds, lamb, oysters, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, butter, veal liver, wheat germ.

– The high fat diet may increase the risk of prostate cancer. The intake of large amounts of alpha-linolenic acid and the low amount of linolenic acid, a combination that occurs in red meat and some dairy products, appears to be responsible for this increased risk. Obese patients have an increased risk of prostate cancer. Therefore, saturated fats or animal fats and butter should be avoided in the diet.

– Meat is one of the main fat vehiclesTherefore, it is difficult to differentiate between the correlation with meat intake and fat intake. Cooking meat at high temperature generates products with a potential carcinogenic effect. In addition, N-nitroso compounds are formed endogenously or from preservatives added to the processed meat, also with carcinogenic potential and free radicals containing iron products. Therefore, the intake of red and processed meats is associated with a high risk of prostate cancer and, more specifically, of metastatic prostate cancer.

– Folic Acid Supplements they are associated with a higher incidence of prostate cancer. Vegetables, fruits, cereals, nuts and meats are rich in this substance.


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