August 27, 2006
Diet Change Slows Prostate Cancer

Yet another reason to eat a better diet and avoid stress-inducing environments.

One out of six American men will develop prostate cancer at some point in their life, and more than a third of them will experience a recurrence after undergoing treatment, putting them at high risk to die of the disease. New research from the Moores Cancer Center and School of Medicine at University of California, San Diego suggests that diet changes, reinforced by stress management training, may be effective in slowing or halting the spread of the this deadly cancer.

The 6-month study, published in the September issue of Integrative Cancer Therapies, focused on the change in the levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), an indicator of the cancer, in response to a plant-based diet and stress reduction. Patients were taught to increase consumption of plant-based foods such as whole grains, cruciferous and leafy green vegetables, beans and legumes, and fruit, and to decrease the intake of meat, dairy products and refined carbohydrates. They were also provided with stress management training, which included meditation, yoga and tíai chi exercises.

Aside: Does anyone know of reliable research using stress markers such as blood cortisol to compare the effectiveness of various stress management techniques?

The plant-based diet and stress reduction intervention was effective in significantly reducing the PSA rate, indicating a reduction in the rate of progression of the prostate cancer. Ten patients with recurrent, invasive prostate cancer completed the pilot clinical trial. Rates of PSA rise were determined for each patient from the time of disease recurrence following treatment up to the start of the study (pre-study), and from the time immediately preceding the study intervention to the end of the intervention (0-6 months).

By the end of the intervention, four of 10 patients experienced an absolute reduction in their PSA levels, and nine of 10 experienced a decrease in the rate of further PSA rise. The median time it took for the menís PSA levels to double increased from 11.9 months at pre-study to 112.3 months (intervention).

That's a dramatic change for people who already have prostate cancer. I'd like to see this broken down in a more detailed study that just diet changes and stress reduction separately. I'd also like to see various diet changes compared. Would a diet that drastically improved blood lipid profiles provide most of the benefit? Reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol to lower your PSA?

Share |      Randall Parker, 2006 August 27 09:41 AM  Aging Diet Cancer Studies

Dennis Mangan said at August 27, 2006 7:00 PM:

Prostate cancer is also inversely associated with solar radiation exposure, i.e. vitamin D levels. The effect of vitamin D is probably more powerful than all the antioxidants put together, giving a 30 to 50% reduction in cancer rates.

rsilvetz said at August 27, 2006 7:18 PM:

In point of fact the diet used has a multi-pronged effect:

a) it's anti-inflammatory

b) is Nf-Kb suppressing

c) is DHT lowering

d) is almost certainly estradiol lowering

e) stable insulin releases (e.g. no insulin overshoots go hand in hand with IGF control)

and I don't care what the literature says, stress lowers cortisol, lower cortisol means better glucose control, which means slower glycation damage.

So it's really good to see this trial get the publicity it deserves.

Ned said at August 28, 2006 5:19 AM:

I read the original study ( and wasn't impressed. The numbers were very small (only 14 patients in total, and only four experienced a decrease in total PSA). There was no independent control group, and little was said about disease progression. A larger, better designed study would be necessary to show the proposed effect. And with cancer patients, the only really important endpoint is survival. Playing games with tumor markers isn't that useful.

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