Vegan diet linked with prostate cancer risk

June 13, 2000 in Cancer Prevention, Men's Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Vegan diet linked with prostate cancer risk

Men who eat a diet free of meat, fish, eggs and dairy products may have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer, according to British researchers. The diet may affect levels of a hormone linked to prostate cancer risk.

Scientists from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in Oxford, England, found that men on a vegan diet (no meat, fish, eggs or dairy) have lower levels of a hormone that has been linked to prostate cancer. Earlier studies have found that men with prostate cancer have higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1).

This study discovered that men on a vegan diet had IGF-1 levels 9 percent lower than their meat-eating counterparts. The vegans' IGF-1 levels were 7 percent lower than men on vegetarian diets (which include eggs and dairy products). There were no significant differences in the levels of other hormones studied across all the study groups.

If you don't eat a vegetarian diet now, don't give up low fat animal foods just yet. Some experts argue that the men on the vegan diet were 10 years younger than the meat eaters and this may have accounted for the difference in IGF-1 levels. More research is needed. But most experts agree that diets low in saturated fat, vegetarian or not, can help protect from prostate cancer.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.