A new study reveals that high adherence to the Mediterranean diet could reduce the risk of developing aggressive prostate tumors. The research, recently published in the Journal of Urology, reinforces the idea that the nutritional recommendations should take into account dietary patterns rather than individual foods.
A high adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern could reduce the risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer, concludes the study carried out by Spanish scientists from the Biomedical Research Center in Network for Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP) and the National Epidemiology Center of the Carlos III Health Institute.
Although prostate cancer is the most common tumor among European men and the third with most mortality, very little is still known about its causes. This study is part of the MCC-Spain, a project promoted by CIBERESP that has the collaboration of researchers from 11 Spanish Autonomous Communities and seeks to provide new data in this field.
“MCC-Spain is the largest case-control study done in Spain to investigate the influence of environmental factors —including the diet— in the origin of many tumors such as prostate cancer,” says CIBERESP researcher Beatriz Perez-Gomez.
Habits of the Spanish population
In this study, in which 733 patients with prostate cancer and 1,229 healthy men in seven provinces participated, the researchers explored the relationship between the risk of prostate cancer and three dietary patterns that characterize the eating habits of the Spanish population .
The ‘Wester pattern’ includes individuals who consume large amounts of fatty dairy products, refined grains, processed meat, caloric beverages, sweets, fast food and sauces. The second, the ‘wise pattern’ is characteristic of men who consume low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and juices. Finally, the ‘Mediterranean pattern’ is characterized by a high consumption of fish, boiled potatoes, fruits, vegetables, legumes and olive oil and low consumption of juices.
According to Adela Castello, also CIBERESP researcher, “the results of this work show that those men with greater adherence to the Mediterranean pattern have lower risk of aggressive prostate cancer than those whose eating habits away from this profile. This association was not found in men with closer diets to the rest of the diets. ”
For authors, this analysis reinforces the idea that the nutritional recommendations should take into account dietary patterns rather than focus on individual foods.