Prostate cancer prevention diet

Prostate cancer prevention

A recent prostate study showed that participants who consumed at least 10 portions of tomatoes weekly showed an 18% reduced risk of developing prostate cancer. The study concluded that a high intake of plant foods and tomato products, in particular, may help protect against prostate cancer.

Foods for prostate cancer prevention on a dinner plate with white fish cherry tomatoes vegetables

Adherence to dietary and lifestyle recommendations and prostate cancer risk in the prostate testing for cancer and treatment (ProtecT) trial.

Er V, Lane JA, Martin RM, Emmett P, Gilbert R, Avery KN, Walsh E, Donovan JL, Neal DE, Hamdy FC, Jeffreys M
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014 Oct; 23(10):2066-77.

Another study concluded that lycopene, green tea and potentially soy-containing products may be preventative.

Foods for prostate cancer prevention on a dinner plate with white fish, cherry tomatoes, and vegetables

A Mediterranean-style diet rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and vegetables and fruits and low in red meats also helps.

And daily sunshine exposure helps to build up vitamin D stores. In the ProtecT study, deficiency in vitamin D (circulating concentration <12 ng/ml) was associated with a greater risk of aggressive prostate cancer (higher grade or stage),

Foods to Avoid with prostate cancer

A recent meta-analysis of dietary factors and supplements and prostate cancer risk has concluded that foods to avoid are red and well-done meats, fat and milk should be limited.

Previously, the EPIC consortium found an increased prostate cancer risk with the highest quartiles of dairy protein, but no association with dietary fat (mostly using FFQs)., Data from the US Health Professionals study based on clinically detected cases found no association between calcium intake and localised prostate cancer (measured with FFQs) but a positive association with advanced disease.Conversely, calcium intake was related to an increased risk of localised disease with screen-detected cases in the US PLCO trial.

The evidence for a link between obesity and fatal prostate cancer is strengthening and energy intake might be on that causal pathway. An association between energy intake and advanced disease was shown in a meta-analysis for studies with disease stage with a combined odds ratio of 1.6 for advanced disease. In this study, there was no overall relationship between energy intake and prostate cancer nor heterogeneity in the risk of disease by stage (P=0.07); the association with advanced disease was positive (23% increase) but did not reach conventional statistical significance (95% CI 1.00–1.51).

The finding of weak evidence of heterogeneity in the association of vitamin D with risk between clinically and screen-detected disease may merit further investigation. The precision of estimates of foods consumed irregularly, such as oily fish, a good source of vitamin D, may be lower in food diaries than in questionnaires. Vitamin D levels are also related to sunlight exposure, making serological assessments more comprehensive. In the ProtecT study, deficiency in vitamin D (circulating concentration <12 ng/ml) was associated with a greater risk of aggressive prostate cancer (higher grade or stage), which would be more prevalent in clinically detected cases, but the recent meta-analysis does not support vitamin D supplementation, except for deficiency.

There was no association of overall diet (assessed using FFQs) and screen-detected prostate cancer in the US PCPT trial nor in the Swedish study., Food diary data from 133 prostate cancer cases also revealed no association with diet and prostate cancer, but a reduction with a Mediterranean-style diet rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and vegetables/fruits and low in red meats. A recent meta-analysis of adherence to a Mediterranean diet and overall cancer risk showed a 4% risk reduction for prostate cancer incidence.

The natural history of prostate cancer remains poorly understood, including the time points when dietary and environmental factors may influence disease development or progression. This study measured dietary intake prior to diagnosis and found no major associations with prostate cancer risk, yet migrant studies and international variation in prostate cancer incidence suggest that dietary or other environmental components contribute to disease risk. More recent evidence highlights a role of dietary factors in disease progression, for example, fat intake may influence prostate cancer mortality. Future studies will need to extend measurement of dietary intake across the life course, consider intermediary influences such as the insulin-like growth factor axis and examine the role of obesity, which increases the risk of aggressive prostate cancer, subsequent disease progression and mortality.


In summary, this large study revealed no strong evidence that prostate cancer risk is associated with dietary intake measured prior to diagnosis in middle-aged and older men.


We thank the participants and diary coding staff for their contributions, and Ms Vanessa Er and Dr Kate Northstone for analytical advice. Professor Sheila Rodwell (known professionally as Sheila Bingham) who died in 2009, established the Dietary Cohort Consortium as Director of the MRC Centre for Nutritional Epidemiology and Cancer. The authors’ responsibilities were JAL, SEO and TJK wrote the manuscript; PNA conducted the statistical analysis and all authors contributed to the interpretation of data and review of manuscript, including the final manuscript. None of the authors had a personal or financial conflict of interest. The sponsors had no role in study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation of results or the writing of the manuscript. Supported by the UK Medical Research Council and the Medical Research Council Population Health Sciences Research Network. The cohorts received funding from the British Heart Foundation; Cancer Research UK (grant number C8221/A19170); the Department of Health, UK; the Food Standards Agency, UK; the Medical Research Council, UK; the Stroke Association, UK and the WCRF. The ProtecT trial is funded by the UK National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme (projects 96/20/06 and 96/20/99) and the nested ProMPT study (Prostate Mechanisms of Progression and Treatment), funded by the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI – formed by Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council and the Department of Health). DK is funded by the UK Medical Research Council (MC_UU_12019/1). The funding sources had no role in the study design, conduct, data collection, management, analysis and interpretation or preparation, review or approval of the article.


The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  • Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, Dikshit R, Eser S, Mathers C et al GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Available from (accessed 23 July 2015).
  • Mistry M, Parkin DM, Ahmad AS, Sasieni P. Cancer incidence in the United Kingdom: projections to the year 2030. Br J Cancer 2011; 105: 1795–1803. [PMC free article][PubMed]
  • Hjelmborg JB, Scheike T, Holst K, Skytthe A, Penney K, Graff RE et al. The heritability of prostate cancer in the Nordic Twin Study of Cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2014; 23: 2303–2310. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Allott EH, Masko EM, Freedland SJ. Obesity and prostate cancer: weighing the evidence. Eur Urol 2013; 63: 800–809. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • WCRF Food, nutrition, physical activity, and the prevention of cancer: a global perspective. World Cancer Research Fund. American Institute for Cancer Research: Washington DC, 2007.
  • Mandair D, Rossi RE, Pericleous M, Whyand T, Caplin ME. Prostate cancer and the influence of dietary factors and supplements: a systematic review. Nutr Metab 2014; 11: 30. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lippman SM, Klein EA, Goodman PJ, Lucia MS, Thompson IM, Ford LG et al. Effect of selenium and vitamin E on risk of prostate cancer and other cancers: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). JAMA 2009; 301: 39–51. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Klein EA, Thompson IM Jr, Tangen CM, Crowley JJ, Lucia MS, Goodman PJ et al. Vitamin E and the risk of prostate cancer: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). JAMA 2011; 306: 1549–1556. [PMC free article][PubMed]
  • Wang X, Ouyang Y, Liu J, Zhu M, Zhao G, Bao W et al. Fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. BMJ 2014; 349: g4490. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Kristal AR, Peters U, Potter JD. Is it time to abandon the food frequency questionnaire? Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev2005; 14: 2826–2828. [PubMed]
  • Schatzkin A, Kipnis V. Could exposure assessment problems give us wrong answers to nutrition and cancer questions? J Natl Cancer Inst 2004; 96: 1564–1565. [PubMed]
  • Willett WC, Hu FB. Not the time to abandon the food frequency questionnaire: point. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2006; 15: 1757–1758. [PubMed]
  • Dahm CC, Keogh RH, Spencer EA, Greenwood DC, Key TJ, Fentiman IS et al. Dietary fiber and colorectal cancer risk: a nested case-control study using food diaries. J Natl Cancer Inst2010; 102: 614–626. [PubMed]
  • Day N, Oakes S, Luben R, Khaw KT, Bingham S, Welch A et al. EPIC-Norfolk: study design and characteristics of the cohort. European Prospective Investigation of Cancer. Br J Cancer 1999; 80: 95–103. [PubMed]
  • Davey GK, Spencer EA, Appleby PN, Allen NE, Knox KH, Key TJ. EPIC-Oxford: lifestyle characteristics and nutrient intakes in a cohort of 33,883 meat-eaters and 31,546 non meat-eaters in the UK. Public Health Nutr 2003; 6: 259–268.[PubMed]
  • Wadsworth M, Kuh D, Richards M, Hardy R. Cohort profile: The 1946 National Birth Cohort (MRC National Survey of Health and Development). Int J Epidemiol 2006; 35: 49–54.[PubMed]
  • Lane JA, Donovan JL, Davis M, Walsh E, Dedman D, Down L et al. Active monitoring, radical prostatectomy, or radiotherapy for localised prostate cancer: study design and diagnostic and baseline results of the ProtecT randomised phase 3 trial. Lancet Oncol 2014; 15: 1109–1118. [PubMed]
  • Marmot M, Brunner E. Cohort profile: the Whitehall II study. Int J Epidemiol 2005; 34: 251–256. [PubMed]
  • Melia J. Part 1: The burden of prostate cancer, its natural history, information on the outcome of screening and estimates of ad hoc screening with particular reference to England and Wales. BJU Int 2005; 95: 4–15. [PubMed]
  • Spencer E, Key TJ, Appelby PN, Dahm CC, Keogh RH, Fentiman IS et al. Meat, poultry and fish and risk of colorectal cancer: pooled analysis of data from the UK dietary cohort consortium. Cancer Causes Control 2010; 21: 1417–1425.[PubMed]
  • Welch AA, McTaggart A, Mulligan AA, Luben R, Walker N, Khaw KT et al. DINER (Data Into Nutrients for Epidemiological Research) – a new data-entry programme for nutritional analysis in the EPIC-Norfolk cohort and the 7-day diary method. Public Health Nutr 2001; 4: 1253–1265.[PubMed]
  • Lentjes MA, McTaggart AH, Mulligan AA, Powell NA, Parry-Smith D, Luben RN et al. Dietary intake measurement using 7 d diet diaries in British men and women in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer-Norfolk study: a focus on methodological issues. Br J Nutr 2014; 111: 516–526. [PubMed]
  • Price GM, Paul AA, Key TJ. Measurement of diet in a large national survey: comparison of computerized and manual coding of records in household measures. J Hum Nutr Diet1995; 8: 417–428.
  • Willett WC. Nutritional Epidemiology. Oxford University Press: New York, NY, 1998.
  • Townsend P. Deprivation. J Soc Policy 1987; 16: 125–146.
  • StataCorp Stata Statistical Software: Release 10. StataCorp LP: College Station, TX, 2007.
  • Bingham SA, Luben R, Welch A, Wareham N, Khaw K-T, Day N. Are imprecise methods obscuring a relation between fat and breast cancer? Lancet 2003; 362: 212–214. [PubMed]
  • Brunner E, Stallone D, Juneja M, Bingham S, Marmot M. Dietary assessment in Whitehall II: comparison of 7 d diet diary and food-frequency questionnaire and validity against biomarkers. Br J Nutr 2001; 86: 405–414. [PubMed]
  • Morgan RM, Steele RJ, Nabi G, McCowan C. Socioeconomic variation and prostate specific antigen testing in the community: a United Kingdom based population study. J Urol2013; 190: 1207–1212. [PubMed]
  • Williams N, Hughes LJ, Turner EL, Donovan JL, Hamdy FC, Neal DE et al. Prostate-specific antigen testing rates remain low in UK general practice: a cross-sectional study in six English cities. BJU International 2011; 108: 1402–1408.[PubMed]
  • Sakr WA, Grignon DJ, Crissman JD, Heilbrun LK, Cassin BJ, Pontes JJ, Haas GP. High grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) and prostatic adenocarcinoma between the ages of 20-69: an autopsy study of 249 cases. In Vivo (Attiki)1994; 8: 439–443. [PubMed]
  • Er V, Lane JA, Martin RM, Emmet P, Gilbert R, Avery KL et al. Adherence to dietary and lifestyle recommendations and prostate cancer risk in the Prostate Testing for Cancer and Treatment (ProtecT) trial. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev2014; 23: 2066–2077. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Allen NE, Key TJ, Appleby PN, Travis RC, Roddam AW, Tjonneland A et al. Animal foods, protein, calcium and prostate cancer risk: the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Br J Cancer 2008; 98: 1574–1581. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Crowe FL, Key TJ, Appleby PN, Travis RC, Overvad K, Jakobsen MU et al. Dietary fat intake and risk of prostate cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Am J Clin Nutr 2008; 87: 1405–1413.[PubMed]
  • Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Platz EA, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC. Risk factors for prostate cancer incidence and progression in the health professionals follow-up study. Int J Cancer 2007; 121: 1571–1578. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ahn J, Albanes D et al. Dairy products, calcium intake, and risk of prostate cancer in the prostate, lung, colorectal, and ovarian cancer screening trial. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2007; 16: 2623–2630. [PubMed]
  • Platz EA. Energy imbalance and prostate cancer. J Nutr 2002; 132: 3471S–3481S. [PubMed]
  • Gilbert R, Metcalfe C, Fraser WD, Donovan J, Hamdy F, Neal DE et al. Associations of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D with prostate cancer diagnosis, stage and grade. Int J Cancer2012; 131: 1187–1196. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Kristal AR, Arnold KB, Neuhouser ML, Goodman P, Platz EA, Albanes D et al. Diet, supplement use, and prostate cancer risk: results from the prostate cancer prevention trial. Am J Epidemiol 2010; 172: 566–577. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Andersson SO, Wolk A, Bergstrom R, Giovannucci E, Lindgren C, Baron J et al. Energy, nutrient intake and prostate cancer risk: a population-based case-control study in Sweden. Int J Cancer 1996; 68: 716–722. [PubMed]
  • Ax E. Dietary patterns and prostate cancer risk: report from the population based ULSAM cohort study of Swedish men. Nutr Cancer 2014; 66: 77–87. [PubMed]
  • Schwingshackl LS, Hoffmann G. Adherence to a Mediterranean diet and risk of diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Cancer 2014; 135: 1884–1897.[PubMed]
  • Sutcliffe S, Colditz GA. Prostate cancer: is it time to expand the research focus to early-life exposures? Nat Rev Cancer2013; 13: 208–518. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Richaman EL, Kenfield SA, Chavarro JE, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci EL, Willett WC et al. Fat intake after diagnosis and risk of lethal prostate cancer and all-cause mortality. JAMA Intern Med 2013; 173: 1318–1326. [PMC free article][PubMed]


    • Article





Recent Activity

See more…