Foods/Supplements-Vitamins: Fruit & Vegetables

This Post was prompted by the Ginger thread that WSOPeddie began & to which Neal posted:

"... it's the combination of the compounds in a diet including plenty of fruits & veggies that has the greatest, most synergistic effects."

There are two issues. Can fruit &/or vetables lower the risk of PCa occurrence? If so, can they improve survival after diagnosis?

The second of these is of greatest interest to this group, of course.

The standard treatments tend to rely on the generation of ROS (reactive oxygen species). Most of the plant polyphenol studies show that when NAC (a reliable & powerful antioxidant) was added to an experiment, the benefit ceased - indicating that ROS was involved.

To get the ROS effect, the polyphenols must be at levels where they stop being antioxidants & become pro-oxidant.

I once has a discussion with a guy who felt that cancer could be reversed via a diet rich in antioxidants (physiological levels, not pharmacological levels). His hope was that his PCa cells would become better differentiated (more normal - lower Gleason Number). I don't know if that worked out for him.

I decided that I would stick with the studies & use high-dose supplements.

In my sugar post, I point out that fruit comes with a high sugar burden.

Non-starchy vegetables do not cause a glucose surge. The nutrients:calories ratio make them a valuable component of any diet, IMO. But I doubt that they can have much impact on the cancer.

In a study published this week, involving 15 Prospective cohort studies, "52,680 total cases and 3,205 prostate cancer deaths among 842,149 men":

"Results from this large, international, pooled analysis do not support a strong role of fruits, vegetables ..."

"We did not observe any statistically significant associations for advanced prostate cancer or prostate cancer mortality with any food group (including total fruits and vegetables, total fruits, total vegetables, fruit and vegetable juice, cruciferous vegetables, and tomato products), nor specific fruit and vegetables."

In a 2004 EPIC paper (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition):

"Data on food consumption and complete follow-up for cancer incidence were available for 130544 men in 7 countries recruited into EPIC between 1993 and 1999. After an average of 4.8 years of follow-up, there were 1104 incident cases of prostate cancer."

"... results suggest that total consumption of fruits and vegetables is not associated with the risk for prostate cancer."

In a 2010 Japanese study:

"During 1995-1998, a validated food frequency questionnaire was administered to 43,475 men aged 45-74 yr. During 321,061 person-years of follow-up until the end of 2004, 339 cases of prostate cancer were identified. Consumption of fruits or total vegetables was not associated with a decreased risk of total prostate cancer ..."

"This prospective cohort study suggests that consumption of fruits or vegetables may not be associated with the risk of either localized or advanced prostate cancer in Japanese men."


Three large studies that no doubt disappoint many.





5 Replies

  • Many thanks Patrick.

    Negative findings can be as important as positive.

    ~ Frank

  • Well, Patrick, I can't argue with the data. I'm thinking maybe fruits & veggies have health benefits not related to PCa? I'm in California, enjoying lots of fresh produce. For me, fruits are ready to eat, salads need a good dressing, & veggies are often best with sauces (spicy Asian sauces are my favorite).


  • Neal,

    The problem with any nutrient, potentially, is that a cancer cell might benefit too.

    Have you come across Dr. Fuhrman's food pyramid? He has non-starchy vegetables at the base (heavy duty carbs are on the 3rd level). He does not have fruit with the veg - it is on the 2nd level.


  • Thanks for this, Patrick. I'll be giving it a good look. For better (sometimes) or worse (other times), you're turning a lot of info I've been relying on for the last 14 years on its head. Example of for the better: the Peet's French Roast I drank this morning, & the Sichuan Double Cooked Pork at a party tonight. I hadn't been indulging in coffee or pork, as a white tea drinking pescatarian. Example of for the worse: The need to reconsider the advice I've been following to eat multiple fruits, of different colors, & that fructose in fruit wasn't bad for you. The latter would make some folks happy, but I face it with regret.

  • These findings are not surprising...PCa is not a foreign invader but your own cells with corrupted DNA. Most foods that are supposedly good for you are also good for the cancer. Take Nalacrats...his PCa loves Gator meat and and is also partial to Gator Snapping Turtles, which is why on many nights, Nal can be found wading through marshes with a flashlight...Radiation and Chemo are thought to work because of ROS which exploits one of cancers few weaknesses...less than optimal ability of repair mechanisms


You may also like...