FAT CONSUMPTION AND PROSTATE CANCER
A study from Harvard University should motivate you to just say no to the enticing-looking cheeseburger or steak Beginning in 1986, Dr. Edward Giovannucci analyzed diet questionnaires obtained from 47,855 healthy male dentists, pharmacists, and other health professionals. By 1990, prostate cancer had been diagnosed in 300 of them, with 126 advanced cases. Researchers found that the men who ate the most fat had a 79 percent higher risk of developing advanced prostate cancer than those who ate the least fat. Men who consumed the highest quantities of red meat had a 164 percent higher risk of prostate cancer than did those who got most of their protein from fish and poultry without the skin. Fat from dairy products not including saturated fat (which are usually solid fats of animal origin such as meat, whole milk, cream cheese, and butter), monounsaturated fat, and alphalinolenic acid but not linolenic acid were suspected as having a link to advanced cancer risk.
"We need to confirm these results with further studies," cautions Giovannucci. In the meantime, his advice to red meat eaters is: "The less, the better."
Mice injected with human tumors showed slower disease progression when the fat content of their diets was reduced, according to a study performed by Dr. Yu Wang, reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Researchers at Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Center found that human prostate cancer tumors grew only half as fast in laboratory mice getting 2 percent to 20 percent of their calories from fat as in those eating diets with about 50 percent fat—die level eaten by many American men. Additional studies are needed to see how dietary fat may influence progression from latent to invasive prostate cancer, such as in the relationship between dietary fat and sex hormone levels and the fatty acids and/or their metabolites that may promote tumor progression.
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