Dietary studies: - Advanced Prostate...

Advanced Prostate Cancer

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Dietary studies

Spaceman210 profile image

Thoughts? I've trended towards a vegan diet for 6 months because of the above, but none of this has been recommended by my providers as I have always been slim. I am concerned with the conflicting studies on soy plus the tendency to eat more carbs due to the grain products, etc.

26 Replies

All those links are 10-15 years old. Be careful about your sources of information;

Thanks. As far as recency there is also this:

which is summarized here:

The studies have to be valid too

I fully understand and know that lots of studies are garbage. I have not seen this particular study rebutted.

Major issues are:

(1) Self-selection: Of 350,000 church members who were selected to fill out questionnaires, only 96,000 (27%) sent one in.

(2) Adherence: 96,000 filled out one questionnaire at the start, and only a small sample (n=950) of those filled out additional f/u questionnaires. Only 46% had intake of foods within the quartile that they originally said.

I see - thanks.

It is most likely reducing risk but there are never guarantees. I went vegan after breast cancer diagnosis and do not regret it. The red meat is filled hormones and antibiotics which I believe harms all of us but can lead to hormonally-related cancers. And antibiotics are also bad for humans. In addition, deli meats are indicted in several cancers, especially colorectal. No harm in LESS meat.

Allen, have you cut back on dairy?

No, but other than cream in my coffee and the occasional cheeseburger, I don't consume a lot of dairy.

I do miss my eggs and cheeses a lot.....

Lord, Spaceman, so do I! Every day! Alas, I'm persuaded by what I've read on the subject. Allen is terrifically smart, and if he said he was continuing to eat average dairy, that'd count for something in my book. But I think it's hard to read what's been written about it without figuring that dairy likely contributes to PCa.

This is a question I am struggling with myself. After being diagnosed, I went total Vegan for 6 months. PSA went untestable, and part of me believes the Vegan diet helped. But...

1. My RBCs and Hemoglobin are now below normal.

2. Vegans have to supplement B-12, and there is some evidence that B-12 correlates with increased PCa risk.

3. The role of Soy in PCa is even more controversial than B-12

4. Vegan diets are high carb, and there is evidence that high carbs correlate with higher blood glucose, and cancer cells preferentially require more glucose than normal cells.

5. There are some persuasive and seemingly reputable oncologists (Dr. Dawn Lemanne) who actually advocate a ketogenic diet,

On the other hand...

1. Vegans tend to be less obese, and obesity is a verified risk factor in the progression of PCa.

2. The B-12 data may be associated with higher meat consumption, which may be associated with generally less healthy eating, so that B-12 may not be the culprit.

3. Nothing mentioned so far is “confirmed” in the double blind, randomized studies that Tall Allen is so fond of.

4. I’m not a science guy, but I can read well enough to know there is much more grey here than black or white.

So i’ve Decided to do the following, which I think is a prudent compromise based on everything i’ve Learned:

1. Reduce caloric intake and lose weight

2. Fast one day per week.

3. Add modest amounts of unprocessed red meat and cold water fish to my diet.

4. Continue to avoid all dairy.

5. Eliminate all processed carbs (bread, pasta, cereals)

6. Eliminate all sugar except what I get naturally in fruits

7. Minimize soy consumption.

The foregoing is basically the Paleo diet. It is what we evolved to consume most naturally. And all those who say their doctors are ignorant and/or disinterested in nutrition are absolutely right. The most common answer people get from an oncologist is “eat a balanced diet.”

Thanks for all this! I've been taking a very modest B-12 and am familiar with the other concerns. P.S. I had asked the oncologist I saw at M.D. Anderson about intermittent fasting, but he did not think it of any benefit because of the metabolic adaptation that occurs. (He did recommend I start taking both Metformin and a beta blocker, which I am doing.)

jdm3 profile image
jdm3 in reply to Canoehead

Anybody have a definitive study on soy yet? It seems to be beneficial or terrible depending what you read or who you ask.

pjoshea13 profile image
pjoshea13 in reply to Canoehead

You say that:

"obesity is a verified risk factor in the progression of PCa"

& it's true that many studies have reported this.

The problem is that obesity, as measured by BMI, is being used as a surrogate for visceral fat. Visceral fat is the problem because it acts as though it were a gland in the endocrine system. In particular, it secretes estradiol.

There are now a significant number of studies on the influence of periprostatic fat (45 hits on PubMed).

The TOFI phenomena (thin outside, fat inside):

For many of us, BMI is a valid surrogate, but for men on a high-carb diet, it is difficult to avoid visceral fat. That's because, without significant fat to slow digestion, meals cause glucose spikes & elevated triglycerides which are preferentially stored as visceral fat.

Some cannot accept that the body converts carb to fat & believe that they must avoid fat. Ingested fat does not pose the same threat to the body as does glucose spikes, so the body does not dump it around the organs.

A vegan diet need not be low fat, although many seem to think it should be. Fat content of a meal can be adjusted with nuts.


DonUSNA73 profile image
DonUSNA73 in reply to pjoshea13

and avacados, oils & seeds

Fascinating - thanks Patrick!

I turn vegetarian a few days after my diagnoses. That was 26 years ago. For it just made sense. There are too many growth hormones in commercially raised animals. Those growth hormones make them grow bigger fatter faster. They cannot be good for prostate cancer which is a hormone fed cancer. Since then I have added fish to my diet. Over the years every doctor I have ever seen praised me for that diet.

I am not claiming that being a vegetarian cures cancer or is a panacea for any cancer. I do believe that it has lengthen my lifespan. Without it I think I would have died many years ago. I just think that with this terrible disease you should do all your can for yourself.

Many breakfast cereals are sprayed with B12 which can supplement a vegetarian diet, and B12 is a stable compound and will not go bad in shipping and storage. As to carbs, I eat a lot vegetables and try to stay away from fatty foods. Which is difficult for because I am a carbs addict and salt freak. After a while that craving diminishes.

My doctors recommendation was to stay away from rare meats and fat, that being said. I had already lost 10 pounds when I entered the chemo stage. So they said eat anything I could stand to get my weight back up

There are a variety of ideas about eating. I think you have to make THE plan for yourself. I became an all-organic vegan after diagnosis with breast cancer. The organic, I think, made the difference. Over the 25 years since, and due to my work as an Advocate, founder of Annie Appleseed Project, I've met a large number of people (many long-time survivors), who ate differently. But MOST of them ate more organic, less or no added sugars. I eat lots of pastas - all different kinds, at least once a week. I also eat ORGANIC tofu or tempeh every single week, 2X generally. Studies on soy vary because the original work was done with soy oil candy bars from Archer Daniel Midland, one of the suppliers of GMO soy. If soy is NOT organic, then sadly it is bound to be GMO. I avoid those type of foods 100% and am glad of that. I eat no artificial colors, flavors, additives or preservatives. I think that matters. I also combine nutrition with physical activity and relaxation/joy of life. This morning my husband said he was worrying about a potential leak in the roof. I spontaneously said, "Be here now", a saying of the 1960's that I now understand. If the roof leaks, we will fix it, so why worry, and WHY worry today when it is not leaking? Smell some roses.

Thanks for your insights Annie! I have been pleased to find a much wider variety of tasty grains in the markets lately at least, than just wheat-based pasta. Didn't know about the soy oil candy bar etc. basis, so that is reassuring. (And yes I literally smell the roses on my walks now.)

I too love all the varieties of pasta and switch up weekly. Growing up of course they were unknown and I guess basically unavailable. I started going to cancer conferences in 1995 and met many researchers who used to complain about the limitations of studies. In order to fit the 'pharma' model they had to seek the most active element or ingredient as opposed to the whole plant. I didn't like that much.

I only eat food that's edible....

Good Luck and Good Health.

j-o-h-n Tuesday 08/07/2018 2:09 PM EDT

Spaceman210 profile image
Spaceman210 in reply to j-o-h-n

Thanks John - you too! and yeah....pig meal is not the greatest for enjoying life, eh?

Hi Spaceman.

After surgery then IMRT my PSA continued to rise. I went vegetarian. Made no difference to my PSADT ((approx 1 month). When PSA hit 2.5 my doc said I need to go on ADT. That didn't sound good so I went hard core vegan and 6 weeks later my PSA hit 7.5. Of course I then had to admit that vegan diet was doing nothing for me so I submitted to Zolodex injections every 3 months. I did continue my vegan diet however as it helped me to lose 20kg but after 6 months of ADT plus vegan diet PSA rose from 7.5 to 47.

But OTOH I personally know 2 men whose PSA has stabilised after embracing the same diet I am on (actually I followed them).

Conclusion - if you have indolent PCa then vegan diet may help. ADT may also help. If you have aggressive PCa then neither diet or ADT makes any difference.

PCa is a heterogeneous disease. What works for one person may not work for another. This is very evident from all drug trials - results always show variable responses. Eg Keytruda trial. Off top of my head 15% saw a reduction in PSA. 35% of men saw PSA stabilised. The rest saw no change in PSADT. Something like that dont shoot me if I have it wrong but the general trend is what I am focusing on.

I maintain my vegan diet because I feel better for it and other health indicators (cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, BMI) are all reduced. But it made f all difference to my PCa progression.


Hey, thanks very much - great observations. Yes, I will just see what happens. All the best to you!

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