Recent research conducted by scientists at the University of South Australia has indicated that men who regularly consume colourful fruits and vegetables could be less likely to receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer.
The two studies, which were published in the journal Cancers, revealed that a diverse range of foods that are rich in certain micronutrients can help to prevent prostate cancer and aid in recovery among men who undergo radiation therapy for the disease. A Mediterranean or Asian diet that includes such foods is recommended.
As part of the studies, researchers compared micronutrient plasma concentrations of prostate cancer patients with those of a healthy control group. The results showed low levels of lutein, lycopene, alpha-carotene, and selenium in prostate cancer patients, as well as high levels of iron, sulphur, and calcium in the same group relative to controls. The study also found that low levels of lycopene and selenium in blood plasma were associated with increased DNA damage after radiation exposure.
Men with plasma concentrations lower than 0.25 micrograms (ug) per millilitre (mL) for lycopene and/or lower than 120ug/L for selenium were found to be at an increased risk of prostate cancer and were likely to be more sensitive to the damaging effects of radiation.
Lycopene-rich foods include tomatoes, melons, papayas, grapes, peaches, watermelons, and cranberries. Selenium-rich foods include white meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, and nuts.
Rainbow of fruit and veg the best prevention against prostate cancer – University of South Australia https://t.co/ZOpH1qtlC2
— Doctor Prostate (@doctorpaulm) March 9, 2023
The study’s co-author, Dr Permal Deo, advises against taking supplements and recommends eating foods that are naturally rich in lycopene and selenium.
“Our recommendation is to adopt a Mediterranean diet enlisting the help of a dietician because people absorb nutrients in different ways, depending on the food, the digestive system, the person’s genotype and possibly their microbiome,” Deo said.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common and fatal cancers in men, but the nutritional deficiencies associated with it remain largely unknown. Previous research has linked other risk factors such as ethnicity, family history, age, being overweight, and tall, and diets high in dairy products and low in vitamin E to prostate cancer.
“There is strong evidence that being overweight and tall increases the risk of prostate cancer. Diets high in dairy products and low in vitamin E may also increase the risk but the evidence is less clear,” Deo added.
Vitamin E can be found in plant-based oils, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.
In addition to the University of South Australia’s findings, a recent study discovered that patients suffering from advanced prostate cancer have a greater chance of survival when treated with a targeted cancer drug alongside chemotherapy.
The Overall Survival Update for Patients with Metastatic Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer Treated with Capivasertib and Docetaxel in the Phase 2 ProCAID Clinical Trial saw 150 people take part in the phase 2 ProCAID trial which saw half given standard docetaxel chemotherapy plus capivasertib, and half given the chemotherapy plus a dummy drug (placebo).
The results indicated that overall survival was increased for patients in the capivasertib group compared to those in the placebo group.
Overall Survival Update for Patients with Metastatic Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer Treated with Capivasertib and Docetaxel in the Phase 2 ProCAID Clinical Trialhttps://t.co/nmyHgUkJdE@AlisonBirtle @GeogWilding @SouthamptonCTU pic.twitter.com/fAL5ILUzXB
— European Urology (@EUplatinum) June 9, 2022
A spokesperson from the Southampton Clinical Trials Unit (SCTU) which is based at the University of Southampton’s Centre for Cancer Immunology, who ran the trial, told Bloomberg News that “often these patients will be given hormone therapy which can help control the cancer’s spread”.
“But some patients do not respond to this treatment or become resistant over time, meaning the cancer will progress and patients will then need chemotherapy,” the spokesperson said.
“Capivasertib is a targeted cancer drug that stops the signals cancer cells use to grow and divide and researchers therefore wanted to see whether adding this drug to standard chemotherapy treatment could help to control the cancer for longer and improve outcomes for these patients.
“The results showed that although capivasertib did not increase the time before the cancer started to grow again (progression free survival) overall survival was increased for patients in the capivasertib group compared to those in the placebo group.”
IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.