Scientists have been aware for a while that diet plays an important role in the rate of risk of prostate cancer (vegetarians seldom get it, for example). They were also aware that Asian men have about the same incidence of prostate cancer, with much slower growth. Generally accepted belief was that the difference was genetic. The researchers from the University of Colorado were the first to investigate the dietary reasons for the lower mortality of prostate cancer among Asian men than of Caucasians. The results of their new study show that the diet rich in fiber slows the growth of prostate cancer and makes it less invasive.
What is prostate cancer ?
Prostate cancer is a cancer of the prostate gland, a walnut-sized organ that is part of a male reproductive system. It is located around the urethra, which carries urine out of our body. It is the disease of older men and it is rarely seen in men younger than 40.
According to the CDC, in 2009 there were 206,640 American men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer and 28,088 of them died of the disease.
The study was conducted on mice fed with inositol hexaphosphate (IP6), an important component of all high-fiber diets, and the results were compared with the mice that were not getting IP6. The results were much more significant than expected. The tumors of mice fed with IP6 were dramatically reduced, due to the anti-angiogenic effects of the compound.
The IP6, actually nutrition rich in fiber, affects tumors in two ways: it prevents new blood vessels from being formed in tumors, depriving them of blood and starving them from energy. In addition, IP6 reduced the rate of glucose metabolism in prostate cancer cells.
Dietary fiber is considered crucial part of balanced nutrition, particularly for the health of the digestive system. Studies are increasingly finding that fiber is more important for our health than we previously believed. The new study on the link between the prostate cancer and high fiber nutrition has a long way to go until it can be translated into the standard therapy for prostate cancer. But, it cannot hurt to adjust the diet if you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. It is good for you anyway. It is particularly important if you are of advanced age and your doctor recommended not to use any medication.