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Plant-Based Diets Decrease Prostate Cancer Risk

Posted by Geoff Beaty on 29 September 2021
Plant-Based Diets Decrease Prostate Cancer Risk

Not long ago, treating prostate cancer – and many diseases, for that matter – was seen as solely a doctor’s job.

Today, it's well understood that patients can do a lot to prevent and manage disease – and often, that starts with nutrition.

The focus has changed from, "Let’s treat this cancer" to, "Let’s treat the cancer in the person's context as a whole".

This view is shared by Lorelei Mucci, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Furthermore, men who consume the most plant-based foods decrease their risk of dying from prostate cancer by 19%, according to an abstract recently published in The Journal of Urology.

Researchers compared plant-based diet intake and prostate cancer incidence and mortality rates for 47,243 men as part of the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.

Adherence to a plant-based diet lowered the risk of death from cancer as well as risk for total and advanced cancer among younger men. These results show the efficacy of plant-based diets for cancer prevention and survival.

So what food is more effective?

One large research review looked at studies evaluating a possible link between prostate cancer and lycopene – an antioxidant believed to have anti-cancer properties.

The study authors concluded that more lycopene consumption is related to a lower risk of prostate cancer.

To up your lycopene intake, focus on red fruits and vegetables, and especially tomato and tomato products,

Interestingly, the lycopene in processed tomato products (tomato paste, for example) is more easily absorbed by the body than the nutrient in whole tomatoes.

Carrots, grapefruit, red bell peppers and pomegranates are lycopene-rich, too.

Loeb S, Fu BC, Bauer SR, et al. MP32-06 Association of plant-based dietary patterns with prostate cancer risk. J Urol. Published online September 1, 2021. doi: 10.1097/JU.0000000000002036.06

Author:Geoff Beaty
Tags:NewsEvidence Based ResearchDiets & RecipesCancerProstate cancer


  • The Institute for Functional Medicine
  • Society for Integrative Oncology
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Australian Traditional-Medicine Society
  • Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia