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Fats and Meats are Not the Cause of Prostate Cancer

October 27, 2007 | 38,102 views

A diet rich in fats and meat does not increase a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer, according to a large, ethnically diverse study.

The researchers examined the diets of over 82,400 men aged 45 or older, from four ethnic groups (African American, Japanese Americans, Latinos, and Whites). They measured the participants’ intake of the following components:

  • Different fats (including saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fat, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids)

  • Cholesterol

  • Meat (including total, red, processed, and poultry)

  • Fish

  • Fats from meat
After eight years of follow-up, the study found no association between the intake of fat and meat and prostate cancer risk or advanced tumors.

A “weak protective effect” was found between the intake of omega-3 fats and prostate cancer in Whites and Latinos.

Previous studies examining high-fat and high-meat diets and prostate cancer have found conflicting results.

International Journal of Cancer September 15, 2007, Volume 121, Issue 6, Pages 1339-1345

Reuters October 4, 2007


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Fats and meats have been wrongly made the scapegoat for a host of diseases when a variety of other factors are actually at play. Check out this great article on the misconceptions surrounding fats from Thursday’s newsletter to see what I mean. 

In the case of prostate cancer, the second most common cancer in U.S. men (after skin cancer), diet is very important, but not in the sense that you should try to lower your fat and meat consumption. In fact, a low-fat diet has been found to NOT prevent prostate cancer.

The major dietary additions you can make to prevent and even help treat prostate cancer are as follows:
  • Get plenty of omega-3 fats from krill oil. Foods rich in omega-3 fats may help prevent prostate cancer from spreading. Omega-3 fats also provide a wonderful benefit for prostate cancer patients by blocking the functioning of omega-6 fats (from vegetable oils) that cancer cells use as an energy source.
  • Eat more high-lycopene foods such as tomatoes and watermelon. One study found that men whose average intake of the antioxidant lycopene was 19 milligrams each day had a 16 percent lower risk of prostate cancer than men who took in 3 milligrams of lycopene daily.
  • Eat foods high in selenium. A number of studies have indicated that selenium intake offers some protection from prostate cancer. Brazil nuts, eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, and sunflower seeds are all good sources.
  • Freshly ground flaxseeds. While ground flaxseeds may benefit prostate cancer, flaxseed oil may increase your risk. It is important to recognize that this should NOT be your exclusive source of omega-3 fats, because flaxseed oil has actually been shown to increase the risk of prostate cancer.
With all of the foods above, keep in mind that you should eat them according to your nutritional type, and always listen to your body. If a certain food doesn’t agree with you, that’s a sign that you shouldn’t eat it.

Important Lifestyle Factors to Prevent Prostate Cancer

Aside from your diet, sun exposure is also an incredibly important factor in preventing prostate cancer (and other forms of cancer).

According to one study, men with higher levels of vitamin D (typically obtained through sunshine exposure) in their blood had a 50 percent lower risk of developing aggressive forms of prostate cancer than those with lower amounts. Experiments also suggested vitamin D inhibits cell growth.

There are also numerous studies supporting a link between pesticides and prostate cancer, so you should seek to limit your exposure to these as much as possible.

Finally, while I had previously believed that in the majority of cases, what “causes” cancer and illness is a breakdown in your system due to an unhealthy lifestyle and exposure to toxins in your environment, I am now convinced that unresolved emotional trauma is one of the primary factors in most cancers.

Your best approach to understanding this is German New Medicine.

Because we all have emotional hurdles to overcome, I highly recommend that you find a stress relief method that works well for you. My personal favorite, and the one I routinely use in my practice, is the psychological acupressure tool called the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).

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