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Diet and Lifestyle and the Role in Prostate Cancer Risk

Diet and Lifestyle and the Role in Prostate Cancer Risk

Who doesn’t love getting something for free—an upgrade on your business flight, maybe, or a free glass of wine at dinner or a free ticket to a sellout concert—especially when you’re not expecting it? Well, here’s a health benefit that’s kind of like that. Turns out, the same healthy habits that are great for your heart and waistline also may slash your risk of prostate cancer.

Powerful prostate protection
In one study, researchers from Duke University School of Medicine studied the diets of 430 military veterans, 156 of whom had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. They found that men who ate more high-quality, complex carbohydrates (think whole grains) and less fat, protein and simple sugars had a 60 to 70 percent lower risk of prostate cancer. Another bonus: The fiber-rich diets seemed to reduce the chances of aggressive cancers by up to 80 percent.

Another study of 6500 men looked at the link between metabolic syndrome and men’s chances of developing prostate cancer. Metabolic syndrome is a collection of risk factors—including a larger waistline, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, low HDL (good) cholesterol or elevated triglycerides (fats in the blood)—that hike the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other health problems. The researchers, from Duke and Washington University in St. Louis, found that guys who had two or more of these factors had a higher risk of aggressive prostate cancer. And for each additional factor a man had, the risk grew even more. How do you avoid metabolic syndrome? By keeping your weight down, exercising and eating a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Both studies were presented at the annual meeting for the American Urological Association.

You know the drill
Eat smart. Exercise. Watch your weight. Log good sleep. You hear the same message time and time again because it's just the right thing to do—and ultimately, it may be the best thing you can do to prevent prostate cancer. Here are more smart ways to lower your risk.