A recently released study has shown that men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer can increase their survival rates by an astounding 11%by making some simple dietary changes including adding nuts to their daily routine. The study was conducted on nearly 4,600 men who were diagnosed with non-metastatic prostate cancer. Millions of men around the world are affected by prostate cancer making this finding especially significant.
Prostate Cancer Statistics
The United States has some staggering statistics on prostate cancer rates with almost 2.5 million men currently living with the disease. Approximately another 250,000 will receive their diagnosis this year. This means that 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed sometime during their lifetime making avoiding the disease or knowing someone with it nearly impossible. Although the survival rates for non-metastatic prostate cancer are extremely high with 93% living 10 years after diagnosis and 77% living 15 years after diagnosis, any improvement in these survival rates is extremely important.
The study was led by UC San Francisco and was published in JAMA Internal Medicine online on June 10, 2013. A total of 4,577 men who were diagnosed between non-metastatic prostate cancer between the years of 1986 and 2010 were involved. The data showed that in this duration, 1,046 of the men died with 21% of these deaths being from prostate cancer, 31% from cardiovascular disease and 21% from other types of cancers. The study analyzed the participant’s intake of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, saturated and trans fats. They additionally looked at fats eaten that came from vegetable and animal sources.
The results showed that men who replaced 10% of their total daily caloric intake from carbohydrates with healthy vegetable fats saw a 29% reduction in their death rates from lethal prostate cancer. They also had a lowered risk of dying from any cause – with a 26% reduction seen in these deaths as well. Some of these healthy vegetable fats include avocados, seeds, olive oil, canola oil and nuts. A mere one ounce serving of nuts consumed everyday was shown to be correlated with an 18% lower risk of lethal prostate cancer and an overall reduction of 11% in death from any cause.
The lead author of the study, Erin L. Richman, ScD states, “Consumption of healthy oils and nuts increases plasma antioxidants and reduces insulin and inflammation, which may deter prostate cancer progression. The beneficial effects of unsaturated fats and harmful effects of saturated and trans fats on cardiovascular health are well known. Now our research has shown additional potential benefits of consuming unsaturated fats among men with prostate cancer.” She went on to say, “Overall, our findings support counseling men with prostate cancer to follow a heart-healthy diet in which carbohydrate calories are replaced with unsaturated oils and nuts to reduce the risk of all-cause mortality.”
While further research is definitely needed, this new study shows probable cause for further research into the relationship surrounding nuts and other vegetable sources of fat and survival rates in prostate cancer. The results seen here shown a significant and important difference that can be achieved through simply adding a small serving of nuts to one’s daily diet.