Prostate deaths can be reduced
2 September 2019
The high numbers of New Zealand men dying from prostate cancer could be significantly reduced with a plant-based diet, according to a leading group of doctors.
Over 600 New Zealand men die of prostate cancer each year. It is the most common cancer among men.
The incidence of prostate cancer in New Zealand is one of the highest in the world. Nearly one-in-two men have a risk of getting some form of cancer in their lifetime. The number of men who die of prostate cancer is similar to the number of women who die from breast cancer.
There’s strong evidence to suggest diet plays a key role in the prevention of prostate cancer. Doctors For Nutrition recommend a whole food plant-based diet to have the best chance of avoiding prostate cancer.
Recent work by Dr Dean Ornish* involving men with early stage prostate cancer who followed a low fat plant-based diet (in addition to other lifestyle changes) demonstrated a significant reduction in prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels after one year, and none progressed to requiring conventional treatment in this time.
Excitingly, Dr Ornish has also shown that over 450 prostate cancer promoting genes in these men were switched off, and almost 50 cancer fighting genes were turned on by the lifestyle changes. Their blood was almost eight times more effective at fighting the growth of prostate cancer cells than those who did not make the changes.
A nutrition prescription that will help in the fight against prostate cancer emphasises unprocessed fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans and legumes. This way of eating avoids meats, dairy products, and eggs and minimises refined and processed foods
A low fat whole food plant-based eating pattern can also help to prevent heart disease, the leading killer of men in New Zealand, say Doctors For Nutrition.