Nutrition and Prostate Cancer Prevention: ELLICSR Kitchen Asks


Thanks for coming in today Dr. Fleshner, so
I wanted to ask you what are the most important things, nutrition wise that people should
do in order to prevent prostate cancer? Well we don’t really know the science, the
science of nutrition and cancer is very complex because of all populations of people eating
different things or decades and its impact on disease, it’s often very hard but we
know there are clearly dietary links to prostate cancer, we know that populations, particularly
westernized world where people tend to consume higher fat, higher carbohydrate type diets,
that the rates and risks of not only getting but dying of prostate cancer are higher so
we know that there’s either something that we are doing wrong here in the western world
or something that people out east mostly around Asia, southeast Asia are doing right in terms
of the way they are eating so and we know this is not genetic because if you look at
say Japanese-Canadians or Chinese-Canadians who migrate here from those countries sure
enough their rates start to go up once they adopt a more North American type of lifestyle
so we know that the diet does have significant impact on prostate cancer
That’s great so what can people do, you know you’re saying adapt a more Asian diet
so would it be reducing the fat content? What are some of the action steps?
Right, so I mean I think the research is changing a little bit on this topic, we focused a lot
of dietary fat about 15 or 20 years ago and we can prove for example in the laboratory
that human prostate cancer cells do grow faster if an animal that bares those tumor cells
actually consumes a high fat diet for example but more and more our research is leading
towards carbohydrate excess being a bigger problem and if you look at what’s happened
in the North American diet over the last 15 or 20 years has been a big emphasis on reducing
the fat content of food and a lot of that has been replaced with carbohydrates and of
course all that has happened is more and more obesity so I think diet, certainly the heart
healthy diet is typically a prostate healthy diet so we like to keep certainly saturated
fats low, certainly minimizing fried foods, certainly you want to get more vegetables
and lean meats and fish in your diet and at the end of the day I think probably that sugar
excess passed the rice, potatoes in excess is probably also bad in the context of prostate
cancer Right, so it’s possible that going for the
higher fiber foods versus going for a white rice or refined carbohydrate
For sure, if you want to have some carbohydrate and you should have some, you want to have
those that have a low glycemic index meaning slowly absorbed into the body so you don’t
get that insulin rush which we think is perhaps playing a role in making tumors grow faster