Mediterranean Diet Associated With Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer

Mediterranean style food background. Fish, vegetables, herbs, chickpeas, olives, cheese on grey background, top view. Healthy food concept. Flat lay

The February 2018 issue of The Journal of Urology® published the finding of a reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer among men who followed a Mediterranean diet.

Beatriz Perez-Gomez, PhD, and colleagues evaluated data from 754 men with prostate cancer and 1,277 controls who participated in the Multicase-Control study on Common Tumors in Spain, conducted from September 2008 to December 2013. Dietary intake data identified Western (characterized by the consumption of large amounts of fatty dairy products, refined grains, processed meat, caloric beverages, sweets, fast food, and sauces); prudent (which combines vegetables and fruit with low fat dairy products, whole grains and juices) and Mediterranean dietary patterns.

Among subjects whose adherence to a Mediterranean diet (which included fish, boiled potatoes, whole fruits, vegetables, legumes, and olive oil, and low consumption of juices) was among the top 25% of participants, the risk of aggressive prostate cancer was 32% lower than those whose adherence was among the lowest quarter. Participants whose adherence was among the second highest 25% experienced a similar reduction. The risk of having a higher clinical prostate cancer stage among participants whose Mediterranean diet adherence was among the highest 25% was half that of subjects whose adherence was lowest. Prudent and Western patterns had no relationship with prostate cancer risk.

“This study adds important evidence to the scarce information regarding the association of diet with prostate cancer, and highlights the relevance of focusing on global dietary patterns,” Dr Perez-Gomez commented. “Our results show that a diet oriented towards the prevention of aggressive tumors in the prostate should probably include important elements of the Mediterranean diet such as fish, legumes, and olive oil, and suggest that a high intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains might not be enough.”

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