The relationship between nutrition and prostate cancer: is more always better?

Elizabeth M Masko, Emma H Allott, Stephen J Freedland

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


CONTEXT: Prostate cancer (PCa) remains one of the most diagnosed malignancies in the world, correlating with regions where men consume more of a so-called Western-style diet. As such, there is much interest in understanding the role of lifestyle and diet on the incidence and progression of PCa.

OBJECTIVE: To provide a summary of published literature with regard to dietary macro- and micronutrients and PCa incidence and progression.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A literature search was completed using the PubMed database for all studies published on diet and PCa in June 2012 or earlier. Primary literature and meta-analyses were given preference over other review articles when possible.

EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: The literature was reviewed on seven dietary components: carbohydrates, protein, fat and cholesterol, vegetables, vitamins and minerals, and phytochemicals. Current literature linking these nutrients to PCa is limited at best, but trends in the published data suggest consumption of carbohydrates, saturated and ω-6 fats, and certain vitamin supplements may promote PCa risk and progression. Conversely, consumption of many plant phytochemicals and ω-3 fatty acids seem to slow the risk and progression of the disease. All other nutrients seem to have no effect or data are inconclusive. A brief summary about the clinical implications of dietary interventions with respect to PCa prevention, treatment, and survivorship is provided.

CONCLUSIONS: Due to the number and heterogeneity of published studies investigating diet and PCa, it is difficult to determine what nutrients make up the perfect diet for the primary and secondary prevention of PCa. Because diets are made of multiple macro- and micronutrients, further prospective studies are warranted, particularly those investigating the relationship between whole foods instead of a single nutritional component.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)810-20
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


  • Diet/adverse effects
  • Disease Progression
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Nutritional Status
  • Overnutrition/diagnosis
  • Prognosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms/epidemiology
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Time Factors


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