If you’ve read national guidelines for how to change your diet if diagnosed with prostate cancer, eating a diet filled with vegetables was probably at or near the top of the list of things to do. A newly released set of data from the University of California San Diego is reporting there is no additional protection from consuming more micronutrients.
The study revealed that even though science and common prevailing though says prostate cancer patients should eat more veggies, it does not change the nature of cancer. Vegetable won’t cure prostate cancer, said J. Kellogg Parsons, who is a Moores Cancer Center professor of urology and study lead investigator with an MD from University of California San Diego. But it doesn’t mean patients should not do it in addition to more exercise because doing these things might help make the patients better able to withstand cancer treatment as the body may be stronger from these positive behaviors.
The study was published on January 14, 2020, in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It is called the Men’s Eating and Living study (MEAL) and it studies 478 men from the ages of 50 to 80 years old in 91 different locations across the United States. All the patients had early-stage prostate adenocarcinoma and had enlisted in a surveillance program in which they did not receive treatment until the cancer had advanced.
The men were in a randomized to control group in which patients were given information about diet, prostate cancer, or a telephone counseling program that advised patients to eat more vegetables like leafy greens, carrots, and tomatoes. Both groups were monitored for a period of two years. Though patients in the group given diet information ate more vegetables than their control group, none of the data documented any significant degree of change in the cancer.
This is the first study testing if diet can affect prostate cancer and it was conducted based on scientific data as well as questions from patients who wanted to know if their diet could help change their diagnosis or effect their treatment for prostate cancer.
In fact, it is one of the most asked questions that men have who are diagnosed with prostate cancer. They want to know if they can improve their treatment if they alter their diet, said James Mohler, MD, an oncology professor from Roswell Park’s department of urology. However, now there is data that more vegetables and less red meat will probably not impact treatment plans, he said. But the study does not mean that patients can eat whatever they want. It is still vital to consume low fats, eat fruits and vegetables, and grains are beneficial to good health.
Scientists are still studying how nutrition can impact diseases and many studies have already documented that changing your diet to reduce diabetes and cardiovascular disease is beneficial.
Despite the MEAL study disproving that vegetable does not have any impact on prostate cancer, it did reveal that behavior changes can help patients make better food choices.