Prostate Cancer Nutrition

Important note: All information given are just guidelines and prevention options may vary to treatment options. You must consult a medical practitioner before altering, adding to or influencing current treatment or individual practices in any way shape or form.

  • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer found in men over the age of 50 years
  • Carotenoids are an antioxidant which combat harmful free radicals in the body. Lycopene is such a carotenoid found in particularly high quantities in tomatoes.
  • Reports from several studies have suggested that carotenoids, in particular lycopene, could act as prostate cancer preventive agents. However, the epidemiologic evidence remains inconclusive.
  • Recent research suggests that eating the whole fruit or vegetable is significantly more beneficial than just supplementing your diet; with for example lycopene. Tomatoes cooked with olive oil, such as in spaghetti sauce, seem to have the most beneficial effects.
  • Selenium and vitamin E may also help prevent prostate cancer.
  • The isoflavones in soy, particularly genistein, also appear to reduce the distribution and increase of prostate cancer cells. Men with prostate cancer may decide to take these as supplements however doctors are not yet sure of the safety and efficacy of any supplements to date.
  • Antioxidants have been found to have positive effects in fighting against prostate cancer. Of the antioxidants Vitamin E, coupled with selenium, may reduce the risk of Prostate Cancer by up to 30%.
  • The effectiveness of carotenoids in the treatment of prostate cancer is still controversial. The amount per day of consumption has varied in studies from 4mg per day to 30mg per day. More research is still needed to determine the
    most appropriate amount for prevention and/or treatment.
  • Carotenoids are said to potentially help stimulate the immune system and has been shown to cause cancer cells to die on their own. Men with prostate cancer may benefit from taking daily carotenoid supplements through foods. Consuming
    one moderately sized tomato daily provides about 4 mg of lycopene. Some sources of tomato juice or tomato paste may provide up to 25 mg of lycopene.
  • Green tea contains polyphenols (an antioxidant) which help prevent the spread of prostate cancer. The polyphenols mobilise several molecular pathways that shut down the increased production and spread of tumor cells, while inhibiting the growth of blood vessels that feed the cancer with nourishment.
  • Lycopene rich fruits and vegetables include – tomatoes, apricots, pink grapefruit, watermelon, papaya, and guava). Green tea also contains lycopene.
  • In a particular case controlled study men drinking the most green tea were found to have an 86% reduced risk of prostate cancer.
  • Key Point: try to drink green tea regularly and eat fruits and vegetables rich in the carotenoids and lycopene. This may greatly reduce a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer.
  • On a daily basis try to:
    1. Drink 4 cups of green tea throughout the day
    2. Snack on apricots and almonds
    3. For breakfast try to incorporate half a grapefruit
    4. Start your lunch or dinner with some form of tomato based meal with some added lime
    5. Try to consume whole wheat pastas with olive oil, pine nuts, feta cheese with tomato sauce bases. The effects of a single type of food on the body may be heavily influenced by the combination of other foods in the diet. It is extremely likely that a well balanced, varied diet can offer us some protection against cancer, rather than just relying on one or two particular foods or supplements.
  • Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods.
  • Eat plenty of breads and cereals (preferably wholegrain), dark coloured vegetables (including legumes) and fruits.
  • Eat a diet low in fat and, in particular, low in saturated fat.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight by balancing physical activity and food intake.
  • If you choose to drink alcohol, limit your intake.
  • Choose low salted foods where possible – try to avoid canned foods as they are generally higher in salts.
  • Eat foods with a good calcium source (particularly important for men with advancing prostate cancer)
  • Try to eat at least 7 serves of fruit and vegetables each day.

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