Mediterranean Diet Can Help Men Fight Prostate Cancer

By | Jul 21, 2015 07:10 AM EDT

Mediterranean diet can help New Zealand men fight prostate cancer, says a study by researchers from University of Auckland.(Photo : Getty Images/Sean Gallup )

Mediterranean diet can help New Zealand men fight prostate cancer, says a study by researchers from University of Auckland.

Prostate cancer is the most diagnosed cancer among New Zealand men that scientists have seen the need for a research on diet-based treatment for the disease. A research team led by Dr Karen Bishop, cancer research fellow at the University of Auckland, conducted a pilot study on the effects of Mediterranean diet for a period of three months among 20 men from Auckland who were diagnosed positive for prostate cancer, reported Scoop Health.

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The diet includes fruits and vegetables, olive oil, whole grains, legumes, poultry, seafood and some fish. As far as this diet is concerned, refined foods, dairy products and red meat are not recommended for consumption.

Bishop explained that including red meat in the diet can result in DNA damage and therefore the participants were asked to decrease their consumption of red meat to as little as 500 grams per week, like what is being recommended by the Cancer Society. Bishop also added that the men were asked to cook in low flame and avoid high heat cooking like barbequing and frying.

"Significant reduction in DNA damage was found especially where the men adhered closely to the Mediterranean-style diet and increased their consumption of pulses and green tea," said nutritionist Sharon Erdrich, who worked with Bishop in the study.

Erdrich added, "This diet is most effective where men seek to improve their health outcomes and are willing to take on board new ways of eating. It's not so much a prescriptive diet, but more a new way of eating."

The researchers also observed that DNA damage was also related to dairy fat consumed by the participants. In the course of the study, the researchers asked the subjects to limit their dairy consumption to one or two servings a day. Few foods that are known to reduce inflammation such as pomegranate, broccoli, green tea and salmon were added to the traditional Mediterranean diet.

"We showed that dietary change to a Mediterranean-style diet is both achievable and beneficial for men with prostate cancer in New Zealand, albeit in a small and motivated group," said Bishop. "This is the first time such a study has been carried out in men with prostate cancer in New Zealand. This result adds weight to the notion that a low-inflammatory, high antioxidant diet may benefit men with prostate cancer," added Bishop, according to Stuff.

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