Vegetable Fat Tied to Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer Death

Got prostate cancer? Well here’s the good news: You can lower your risk of dying of the disease my increasing the amount of vegetable fat you consume. A study published in June, 2013 found prostate cancer mortality to be about half for men who consumed the most vegetable fat, as compared to those who consumed the least.

“Among men with non-metastatic prostate cancer, replacing carbohydrates and animal fat with vegetable fat may reduce the risk of death due to any cause [not just cancer].”

– Erin Richman, MD (University of California, San Francisco)

Methods: Richman and colleagues searched the database of the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Over 51,000 male health professionals have enrolled since 1986. The investigators grouped the men into quintiles of fat intake, further separated into animal fat, vegetable fat, saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, and trans fat.

Results: Men who consumed more vegetable fat after diagnosis had a lower risk of death due to any cause (all-causemortality). Replacing 10% of calories from carbohydrates with vegetable fat was assocaited with a 26% lower risk of death. The association was stronger with animal fat was replaced with vegetable fat.

My take: Avoiding obestiy may be a key. How you should do this is not yet settled, but this study suggetsts that substituting healthy foods (vegetable fats) for unhealthy foods may have a benefit. Now the chicken or the egg question: Was the benefti due to reduced consumption of carbohydrates or greater intake of vegetables?

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Harvard AB Yale MD UPenn Radiation Oncology Radiation Oncologist, Seattle area

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