Vegetable fats boost survival in men with prostate cancer

Research shows additional potential benefits of unsaturated fats among men with prostate cancer.

Written by PTI | Washington | Published: June 11, 2013 1:19 pm

Men with prostate cancer may significantly improve their survival chances by adding healthy vegetable fats to their diet,a new study has claimed.

By substituting healthy vegetable fats – such as olive and canola oils,nuts,seeds and avocados – for animal fats and carbohydrates,men with the disease had a markedly lower risk of developing lethal prostate cancer and dying from other causes,according to the study led by University of California,San Francisco. The research,involving nearly 4,600 men with non-metastatic prostate cancer,could help with the development of dietary guidelines for men with the disease.

“Consumption of healthy oils and nuts increases plasma antioxidants and reduces insulin and inflammation,which may deter prostate cancer progression,” said lead author Erin L Richman,a post-doctoral scholar in the UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. “The beneficial effects of unsaturated fats and harmful effects of saturated and trans fats on cardiovascular health are well known,” Richman said. “Now our research has shown additional potential benefits of consuming unsaturated fats among men with prostate cancer,” Richman said.

The study analysed intake of saturated,monounsaturated,polyunsaturated and trans fats as well as fats from animal and vegetable sources.

The data were derived from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study,which began in 1986. The fat intake study involved 4,577 men who had been diagnosed with non-metastatic prostate cancer between 1986 and 2010. During the study timeframe,1,064 men died,primarily from cardiovascular disease (31 per cent),prostate cancer (21 per cent) and other cancers (nearly 21 per cent). The authors uncovered a striking benefit: Men who replaced 10 per cent of their total daily calories from carbohydrates

with healthy vegetable fats had a 29 per cent lower risk of developing lethal prostate cancer and a 26 per cent lower risk of dying from all causes.

Adding a single serving of oil-based dressing a day (one tablespoon) was associated with a 29 per cent lower risk of lethal prostate cancer and a 13 per cent lower risk of death,the authors found.

And adding one serving of nuts a day (28 g) was associated with an 18 per cent lower risk of lethal prostate cancer and an 11 per cent lower risk of death. “Overall,our findings support counselling men with prostate cancer to follow a heart-healthy diet in which carbohydrate calories are replaced with unsaturated oils and nuts to reduce the risk of all-cause mortality,” said Richman.

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