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Processed Foods Cause Prostate Blues

Research has shown that the more fat you consume, the greater your chances of developing prostate cancer. However, fat isn't the only factor. The types of food a person eats, along with the amount and frequency of food, can also contribute to an increased prostate cancer risk.

In this Canadian study, scientists explored the link between diet and prostate cancer in more than 400 men ages 50 to 80, using questionnaires that detailed the men's dietary habits in the previous two years.

After reviewing the questionnaires, each of the men fell into one of four dietary patterns: "healthy living" (high intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and poultry); "traditional Western" (red meat, processed meats, sweets, and hard liquor), "processed" (processed meats, red meat, organ meats, refined grains, vegetable oils, and soft drinks), and "beverages" (high intake of tap water, soft drinks, fruit juices, poultry, and potatoes).

Results: Men whose diets fell into the "processed" pattern had a significantly higher risk of developing prostate cancer than men in the other groups. According to the researchers, "the highest tertile of factor score for the Processed Diet pattern ... was associated with a >2.5-fold increased prostate cancer risk." Men with traditional Western diets showed a "slightly increased prostate cancer risk," while men in the other groups either had no risk or less risk of developing prostate cancer.

While prostate cancer is quite common in men, there are simple steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting it. For instance, you can lower your intake of processed foods and red meats, and increase your intake of fruits, vegetables and whole (unrefined) grains. You can also speak with your doctor of chiropractic about setting up a health plan that incorporates all of the features necessary for a balanced diet.

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Walker M, Aronson KJ, King W, et al. Dietary patterns and risk of prostate cancer in Ontario, Canada. International Journal of Cancer, Sep. 10, 2005;116:592-598.