Go to any support group meeting and you are almost sure to hear someone, usually a new member of the group, ask about what they might do to lower their risk of having their prostate cancer progress or even lower their risk of dying from the prostate cancer. Among the common answer to this question that you will hear pertains to the subject of diet. The most common recommendation for diet will be to eat a Mediterranean Diet (MD).

Is this a good answer? Actually, there is a lot of research that evaluates this answer. The research is extensive and includes a large number of subjects, having many different cancers, not just prostate cancer.

There was a recent, systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies performed to gain further insight into the effects of adherence to a Mediterranean Diet (MD) on overall cancer mortality, incidence of different types of cancer, and cancer mortality risk in cancer survivors.

The researchers performed an extensive literature search using the large electronic databases of PubMed, and EMBASE. Their analysis included studies up to July 2, 2015. They included either cohort (for specific tumors only incidence cases were used) or case-control studies. Study specific risk ratios, hazard ratios, and odds ratios were pooled.

Their updated review found and used an additional 23 observational studies that were not included in the previous meta-analysis (total number of studies evaluated: 56 observational studies). Their overall study population included 1,784,404 subjects.

They found that:

  • The highest adherence score to an MD was significantly associated with a lower risk of all-cause cancer mortality. This included colorectal cancer, breast cancer, gastric cancer, PROSTATE CANCER, liver cancer, head and neck cancer, pancreatic cancer, and respiratory cancer.
  • They also found that no significant association of cancer mortality could be observed for esophageal/ovarian/endometrial/and bladder cancer, respectively.
  • They did find that among cancer survivors, the association between the adherence to the highest MD category and risk of cancer mortality, and cancer recurrence was not statistically significant.

This updated meta-analyses does confirms the positive association provided by adherence to a MD in relation to cancer mortality and risk of several cancer types, including PROSTATE CANCER.


Cancer medicine. 2015 Oct 16

[Epub ahead of print]; Lukas Schwingshackl, Georg Hoffmann

Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Althanstraße 14 UZA II, A-1090, Vienna, Austria. , Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Althanstraße 14 UZA II, A-1090, Vienna, Austria.