Eating Broccoli and Cauliflower Cuts Prostate Cancer Risk

Eating cruciferous vegetables may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer, a new analysis published online 28 November 2011 in the International Journal of Urology suggests.

The analysis showed that men who ate cruciferous vegetables were 10 percent less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The meta-analysis, led by Ben Liu of Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, was based on data from seven cohort and six population-based case-control studies, which the authors identified in a database called Pubmed.

Eating Broccoli and Cauliflower Cuts Prostate Cancer Risk

The researchers found that there was not a significant association between consumption of cruciferous vegetables and prostate cancer in cohort studies.  However, case-control studies suggested that the reduction in risk of prostate cancer by eating cruciferous vegetables could be as high as 21 percent.

Prostate cancer usually progresses very slowly. If diagnosed at 70 or older, it does not pose a life-threatening risk.  Men at such ages are more likely to die from other health conditions.  For this reason, men over 70 are not advised to receive the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test, which could lead to unnecessary or even harmful diagnoses and treatments.

Diet is a determinant for the risk of prostate cancer. Foods and vitamins associated with a higher risk include but are not limited to calcium, dairy products, vitamin E supplements, meat cooked at high temperatures, red meat and processed meat, a high intake of fat and omega-6 fatty acids.  Alcohol is also associated with an increased risk.

Foods that may help prevent prostate cancer include ones rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as fatty fish like salmon, cruciferous vegetables and tomatoes. Physical activity, getting enough sunshine or vitamin D, drinking black tea and green tea, drinking pomegranate juice, and consuming polyphenols, soy isoflavones, lycopene supplements and vitamin C is also advisable.

Prostate cancer is expected to be diagnosed in 240,890 men and kill 33,720 men in the United States by the end of 2011, according to the National Cancer Institute.