Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory diets reduce chances for prostate, breast, and other cancers
“Men with prostate cancer often have low levels of dietary antioxidants and increased lipid peroxidation,” doctors said. In this study, researchers measured total antioxidant capacity (TAC)—including from diet and supplements—and how aggressive prostate cancer was in 855 Black Americans and 945 White Americans with low, intermediate, or highly aggressive prostate cancer.
Doctors found a direct link: the lower the TAC level, the more aggressive the prostate cancer, with no significant differences between Black and White men. On average overall, men with the highest TAC levels were 69 percent less likely to have developed highly aggressive prostate cancer compared to those with the lowest total antioxidant capacity from diet and supplements.
Chronic inflammation is a factor in developing cancer, and diets can promote or discourage inflammation. To measure the inflammatory tendencies of different diets, doctors have developed the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII), using 36 food variables. Anti-inflammatory foods include fruits, vegetables, omega-3, and fiber, while pro-inflammatory foods include omega-6, refined sugars, and highly processed foods, among others.
In this study, 6,542 healthy-weight to overweight men and women, average age 49, completed at least six dietary surveys during the first two years, with doctors following up for an average of 10 more years. Overall, doctors found a link between pro- inflammatory diets and greater chances of developing prostate cancer, but no link to other cancers. When doctors viewed the DII by levels of alcohol in the diet, while there was no cancer link in higher consumers of alcohol with pro-inflammatory diets, those with pro-inflammatory diets who consumed low to moderate amounts of alcohol were more likely to develop any type of cancer or breast cancer.
Reference: Nutrition and Cancer; 2016, Vol. 68, No. 2, 214-24
Natural Insights for WellBeing July 2016
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