Does Eating Fruits & Veggies Really Help Treat Prostate Cancer?

There have been speculations and opinions over the years about the value of eating vegetables and fruits to help slow the development of prostate cancer, so we’re here with new evidence that makes a clear conclusion.

What We Have Known

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer found in American men. Consequently, there has been much research conducted to find ways to prevent its onset and slow down its progression. 

Age is a known risk for developing prostate cancer along with smoking. Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise have each been routinely recommended to men as a way to reduce their risk of prostate cancer.

Researchers have told us that among standards veggies, cruciferous veggies like cabbage, spinach, kale, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli may help to delay the growth of prostate cancer and improve a patient’s symptoms.

What We Know Now

With recent research, we now know that fruits and vegetables will not alter the development of a man’s prostate cancer. If you already have prostate cancer, eating them won’t suppress the cancer nor cure it. 

A two year study with 478 patients between the ages of 50 – 80 was recently conducted on men that each had early stage prostate cancer. The purpose was to track the influence of diet on prostate cancer patients.

Researchers divided the men into two groups in which the control group was given written information about the value of diet and prostate cancer. The second group was actively encouraged by phone to eat 7 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Subjects were especially encouraged to eat tomatoes and carrots. 

After reviewing the results, it was concluded that: 

  • There was no difference between the two groups in any progression to higher stages of cancer.
  • It failed to support previous beliefs that a diet high in fruits and vegetables can improve cancer outcomes among prostate cancer patients.
  • Eating fruits and vegetables does not have any impact on whether or not a patient needs treatment.

Nevertheless, the researchers were quick to point out that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, low in fat, and also participating in regular exercise will help to make patients with prostate cancer stronger and better able to tolerate treatments. 

Contact  WMC Cancer Center if you have any questions about your diet and prostate cancer risks. Our office can be reached at (304) 908-4617, or by completing our online form.