Vegan diets could help reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer1, according to a major new study funded by World Cancer Research Fund.
Scientists at Loma Linda University in California, USA looked at over 26,000 men, and for the first time assessed the link between prostate cancer and various types of diet, including non-vegetarian, pescatarian and vegan diets. It focused on types of diets rather than individual food items as people eat foods in combination and not in isolation. The study found that those with a vegan diet had a 35% reduced risk of prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK with over 47,000 new cases each year2. Over 10,000 men die of the cancer each year. Worldwide it is the second most common cancer in men3.
Evidence from World Cancer Research Fund already shows there are ways to help reduce prostate cancer risk, such as maintaining a healthy weight. For cancer prevention in general it is important to eat a wide variety of wholegrains, pulses, fruits and vegetables.
Dr Panagiota Mitrou, Director of Research Funding at World Cancer Research Fund, said:
"With prostate cancer being the most common cancer in men in the UK, prevention is key if we are to see a decrease in the number of men developing the disease.
"This exciting research has, for the first time, helped fill some vital gaps in our knowledge about eating patterns and the prevention of prostate cancer and could pave the way for future research. Although these results are exciting, more studies are needed to demonstrate the strength of the link between a vegan diet and reducing the risk of prostate cancer.
Professor Gary Fraser, study researcher at Loma Linda University, said:
"This new research, funded by World Cancer Research Fund, makes a significant step in linking a vegan diet to reduced prostate cancer risk.
"What we now need is more research into this area to determine to the extent a vegan diet could reduce the number of men developing this cancer."