Eating more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains as part of a program of lifestyle changes can lower prostate cancer risk at the genetic level, says Dr. Dean Ornish and his team at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in California.
In this new study, 30 men with prostate cancer who had decided against conventional treatment underwent a three-month program to change their diet and lifestyle.
The program involved increased consumption of vegetables, fruits and whole grains and decreased intake of red meat with legumes (beans) and soy as the primary source of protein. Moderate exercise and stress management were also encorporated into the program.
Using repeat prostate biopsies, the researchers noted the activity of genes involved in prostate cancer prevention and promotion.
After three months, the men had changes in the activity of about 500 genes, including the deactivation of 453 genes that appear to promote prostate cancer.
Previous studies have shown that eating more vegetables - like tomatoes - fruits, and whole grains can lower prostate cancer risk. This is the first study to show genetic changes in men who used diet and lifestyle strategies to combat prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting Canadian men. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, an average of 475 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every week.
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These findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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