The strongest risk factor for prostate cancer is animal products
Dr. Dean Edell
A new multi-country study strengthens the link between animal products as risk factors for prostate cancer, and vegetable products, especially onions, as risk reduction factors. The study, now on line at European Urology,* (William B. Grant, Ph.D., A multicountry ecologic study of risk and risk reduction factors for prostate cancer mortality, European Urology), investigated links between national diets and prostate cancer mortality rates to identify major risk factors for prostate cancer.
The indication that this might be a useful approach comes from comparing national prostate cancer mortality rates: prostate cancer mortality rates in the U.S. and northern Europe are approximately 5 times higher than in Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, and Turkey.
The strongest risk factor for prostate cancer mortality was animal products, such as meat and dairy products; the strongest risk reduction factors were onions and other protective vegetable products (cereals/grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables, but excluding alcohol, oils, and added sugar (sweeteners)). Thus, fat and protein are risk factors, while complex carbohydrates and antioxidants are risk reduction factors.
This finding points to insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) being an important risk factor for prostate cancer. IGF-I is also increased by total energy consumption. This study supports earlier reports that allium family vegetables (e.g., garlic, leeks, and onions) as important risk reduction factors for prostate cancer. This study also found that alcohol is a minor risk factor. No independent correlation was found for tomatoes, a source of lycopene, thought to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.