Meat & Lethal PCa

I expected a spirited response when I posted the new Dutch study. With two "bullshit" responses,I figured I should dig out supporting studies, to show that the new finding might not be off the wall.

I do not eat much red meat. Can't remember when I last ate a steak or burger. But I don't eat much white meat either. I'm not a fan of chicken. Would be more interested if I could source pastured hens. I don't have much of an axe to grind, since I have no commitment to a particular diet. But I do feel that those who give dietary advice to PCa patients, should be aware of pertinent PCa studies, & not just trot out conventional "wisdom".

The important thing for those with advanced PCa, is to be aware of any associations with excess mortality. Unfortunately, epidemiological studies that capture dietary information at baseline, are better at making associations with cancer incidence than cancer mortality. That's because diets can radically change after diagnosis. Consequently, the literature on diet & PCa mortality is limited.

The Health Professionals Follow-up Study [1] followed 27,607 men from 1994 to 2008. The study also looked at the post-diagnosis diet of "3,127 men initially diagnosed with nonmetastatic prostate cancer during follow-up."

"... contrary to our hypothesis ... we observed a suggestion of an inverse association between total unprocessed red meat and risk of lethal prostate cancer ..."

In the case-only part of the study, 123 of the 3,127 men died of PCa.

"Intake of total red meat (unprocessed or processed), total poultry, and eggs after diagnosis were not statistically significantly associated with risk of progression to lethal prostate cancer." However,

"There was a positive linear association between total processed red meat intake after diagnosis and risk of lethal prostate cancer in the age- and calorie-adjusted model ..."

"In addition, men who consumed 3.5 or more servings per week of poultry after diagnosis had a 69% increased risk of lethal prostate cancer compared with men who consumed less than 1.5 servings/wk" "This suggestive association seemed to be driven by sources of poultry other than skinless poultry ..."

Previous studies had produced mixed results, but: "These mixed results, combined with our findings, suggest that unprocessed red meat is not associated with an increased risk of lethal prostate cancer"

Erin Richman was the author, & she had done a similar study using data from CaPSURE [2] - the end point being progression, rather than death.

"During 2004 and 2005, active members at 25 CaPSURE sites were invited to participate in the Diet and Lifestyle substudy. Invitations were mailed to 5570 participants, and 2467 participants accepted."

"We observed no evidence of an association between processed red meat, unprocessed red meat, or fish with prostate cancer progression."

"To further explore the borderline significant association for poultry, we analyzed poultry with and without skin separately (Table 4). Consumption of skinless poultry was not associated with risk of prostate cancer progression. In contrast, men in the highest tertile of poultry with skin had more than a doubling in risk of prostate cancer progression compared with men in the lowest tertile after adjustment for sociodemographic factors, clinical characteristics, and skinless poultry. Furthermore, there was evidence of a strong linear trend ..."

"Men with high prognostic risk disease and in the highest quartile of poultry had a 4-fold increased risk of progression compared with men with low/intermediate prognostic risk disease and low poultry intake"

"We observed no association between postdiagnostic consumption of processed or unprocessed red meat, fish, or skinless poultry and risk of prostate cancer progression among 1294 men with a diagnosis of localized prostate cancer and followed for an average of 2 y. However, postdiagnostic consumption of poultry with skin and whole eggs were associated with 2-fold increases in risk of prostate cancer progression."

Just because whole chicken & chicken parts other than breast are sold & generally cooked with the skin on, that doesn't mean that the skin has to be eaten. Perhaps the risk is in the skin, but dark meat might have risk that white meat doesn't. Or there may be fundamental differences in the way that skinless chicken is cooked.

-Patrick

[1] cancerpreventionresearch.aa...

[2] ajcn.nutrition.org/content/...

1 Reply

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  • There isn't enough information on the type of poultry eaten for me to accept the finding. If it's Tyson or Purdue I could probably agree with the findings but there are

    companies with "cleaner' chicken e.g. Bell and Evans that I would consider safer.

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