NY: The researchers found that prostate cancer patients assigned to eat seven or more servings of vegetables and fruits a day did not see additional protection against increased micronutrient consumption.
Previous studies suggest that foods high in carotenoids have antioxidant properties, which can protect men from prostate cancer. Some of those foods include green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, carrots and tomatoes.
However, the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that eating more products will not cure or stop the disease.
“These data indicate that despite the prevailing public and scientific opinion, eating more vegetables will not alter the course of prostate cancer. To our knowledge, it will not suppress or cure it, “said study researcher J. Kellogg Parsons of the University of California.
“However, although eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and exercising more may not cure cancer, it can keep the body stronger and healthier, which can help patients tolerate cancer treatments.” Parsons
For The Men’s Eating and Living (MEAL) study, the researchers enrolled 478 men aged 50 to 80 at 91 sites in the US. UU.
The patients had been diagnosed with early stage prostate adenocarcinoma and enrolled in an active surveillance program in which patients postpone immediate treatment until the disease progresses.
The patients were randomized to a control group that received written information about diet and prostate cancer or to a behavioral intervention program of telephone counseling that encouraged participants to eat carotenoid-rich foods, such as leafy green vegetables, carrots and tomatoes, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage.
Both groups were monitored for two years.
The patients assigned to the intervention increased their consumption of fruits and vegetables to a statistically significant degree, and significantly more than the control patients did.
These findings were supported by significant changes in carotenoid levels in patients’ blood.
“However, these data do not support the prevailing claims in clinical guidelines and popular media that diets high in micronutrient-rich vegetables improve cancer-specific outcomes among prostate cancer survivors,” said study researcher James Marshall
According to the researchers, scientific studies have identified an important role in changing the diet and improving outcomes in diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but not in cancer.
Although the MEAL study did not reveal any positive impact on prostate cancer, it did show that behavior modification can lead patients to choose healthier foods.