The adherence of eight new World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) lifestyle recommendations has been found to significantly reduce the risk of developing highly aggressive prostate cancer.

The study, published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer, was carried out by researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC).

The eight lifestyle recommendations that the WCRF made encouraged physical activity and the consumption of healthy foods low in caloric density (under 125 kilocalories per 100 grams of food).

The research team, led by Lenore Arab, PhD, JCCC member and professor in the departments of medicine and biological chemistry, set out to determine what impact adherence to the recommendations had on highly aggressive prostate cancer risk.

The team used Gleason grading system scores and blood levels of prostate-specific antigen to determine the aggressiveness of the cancer.

A total of 2,212 white and African-American men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer enrolled in the North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project (the men were between 40 to 70 years old).

Men who adhered to fewer than four of the WCRF recommendations were at a much higher risk (38% higher) of developing aggressive tumors than those who adhered to more than four.

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Healthy eating is recommended by the WCRF
The team found that eating fewer than 500 grams of red meat per week or fewer than 125 total kilocalories per 100 grams of food per day greatly reduced the risk of aggressive tumors among the study subjects.

Arab said that “most men are at risk of prostate cancer, but it is the level of aggressiveness of disease that is most clinically relevant. These findings suggest that even men with prostate cancer can take control of their disease and moderate its aggressiveness through diet and lifestyle choices.”

The risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer decreased by 13 percent for each additional point in adherence score among the study subjects.

The eight ecommendations for cancer prevention in the WCRF/AICR Second Expert Report are:
  • Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight.
  • Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
  • Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods.
  • Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans.
  • Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meats.
  • If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to 2 for men and 1 for women a day.
  • Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium).
  • Don’t use supplements to protect against cancer.
A previous study published in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, revealed that exercise can reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

In addition, diet is one of the most important controllable risk factors for inflammation and prostate diseases, including benign prostatic hyperplsia (BPH), prostatitis, and prostate cancer, according to a team of researchers at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.

Written by Joseph Nordqvist