A review published in the June, 2009 issue of the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics suggests that consuming high amounts of fruit and vegetables while avoiding excessive red meat, fat, dairy products and calories, may reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer as well as help manage the disease.
Robert W.-L. Ma of the University of New South Wales and K. Chapman of the Cancer Council New South Wales in Kings Cross, Australia reviewed studies concerning the prostate cancer preventive effects of tomato and lycopene, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, green tea, soy, long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, selenium, and weight loss. They also included studies concerning the effects of meat, dairy products, calcium, beta-carotene and fats in increasing prostate cancer risk.
A separate review of dietary measures employed as therapeutic interventions for prostate cancer included studies that utilized plant based foods, lycopene, vitamin E, soy, and a low fat diet.
In their summaries of the preventive effects of the individual dietary components, the authors conclude that lycopene, soy, vitamin E supplements, and selenium may help protect against prostate cancer, and that cruciferous vegetables and green tea could help protect against advanced disease. In regard to omega-3 fatty acids, they note that some evidence suggests that only individuals with a specific variation in the COX-2 gene may benefit from their increased intake. Concerning dietary factors that have been proposed to increase prostate risk, the authors agree that high fat and meat consumption, particularly processed or charcoaled meats, could increase prostate cancer risk. The evidence available for dairy products and calcium, although mixed, suggests that high amounts of either might increase risk, although calcium at levels of 1000 milligrams per day or less does not appear to be associated with risk elevation. Regarding beta-carotene, the authors "concur with the WCRF/AICR report that beta-carotene is 'unlikely to have a substantial effect on the risk of prostate cancer.'"
"Although conclusive evidence is limited, the current data are indicative that a diet low in fat, high in vegetables and fruits, and avoiding high energy intake, excessive meat, excessive dairy products and calcium intake, is possibly effective in preventing prostate cancer," the authors write. "The dietary recommendations for patients diagnosed with prostate cancer are similar to those aiming to reduce their risk of prostate cancer."
"In patients with prostate cancer, dietary therapy allows patients to be an active participant in their treatment," they note.