Vegan diet ‘could cut prostate cancer risk by a third’
Switching to a vegan diet could significantly reduce the risk of prostate cancer, according to a US study.
Vegans appear to have a 35% lower risk of developing the disease than non-vegans, results from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF)-funded study show.
The research team at Loma Linda University in California analysed data from over 26,000 men, of which 8% were vegan.
In the group, they found 1,079 cases of prostate cancer.
Benefits of going vegan
Those following a vegan diet avoid any animal-related products, including milk and cheese. Diets are often high in nuts, grains, fruit and vegetables.
A study last year found that a diet high in nuts can help lower the risk of certain types of cancer.
These recent results are a significant step towards making a strong connection between the vegan diet and reduced prostate cancer risk, says Professor Gary Fraser, who led the study.
He is calling for more research into the connection.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. Every year, over 47,000 new cases are reported, with 10,000 men dying from the disease.
More need to be done
Dr Panagiota Mitrou, director of research funding at the WCRF, says this study helps fill in a number of gaps about eating patterns and links to prostate cancer. Prevention should be the focus if there is to be a drop in the number of men developing the cancer, he says.
And while the results are exciting, he agrees more needs to be done to demonstrate the strength of the connection.
Jimmy Pierce, spokesman for the Vegan Society, says the evidence around the disease-preventative qualities of being vegan is “overwhelming”.
He hopes men can move past the “macho” image of eating meat and opt for the alternative diet.