Vegetable Fat Use May Benefit Men With Prostate Cancer

Replacing carbohydrates and animal fat with vegetable fat may be associated with a lower risk of death in men with nonmetastatic prostate cancer, according to a report published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.

“Nearly 2.5 million men currently live with prostate cancer in the United States, yet little is known about the association between diet after diagnosis and prostate cancer progression and overall mortality,” according to background information in the report.

Erin L. Richman, ScD, a postdoctoral scholar in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues examined fat intake after a prostate cancer diagnosis in relation to lethal prostate cancer and all-cause mortality. The study included 4,577 men diagnosed with nonmetastatic prostate cancer between 1986 and 2010 who were enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.

Researchers noted 315 lethal prostate cancer events and 1,064 deaths during a median follow-up of 8.4 years. Replacing 10% of calories from carbohydrates with vegetable fat was associated with a 29% lower risk of lethal prostate cancer and a 26% lower risk of death from all-cause mortality, according to the study results. “In this prospective analysis, vegetable fat intake after diagnosis was associated with a lower risk of lethal prostate cancer and all-cause mortality,” the authors wrote. The authors noted that oils and nuts were among the top sources of vegetable fats in the study population.

Crude rates of lethal prostate cancer (per 1,000 person-years) comparing the highest and lowest quintiles of fat intake were 7.6 vs. 7.3 for saturated; 6.4 vs. 7.2 for monounsaturated; 5.8 vs. 8.2 for polyunsaturated; 8.7 vs. 6.1 for trans; 8.3 vs. 5.7 for animal; and 4.7 vs. 8.7 for vegetable fat. For all-cause mortality, crude death rates (per 1,000 person-years) comparing the highest and lowest quintiles of fat intake were 28.4 vs. 21.4 for saturated; 20 vs. 23.7 for monounsaturated; 17.1 vs. 29.4 for polyunsaturated; 32.4 vs. 17.1 for trans; 32 vs. 17.2 for animal; and 15.4 vs. 32.7 for vegetable fat, according to the study results.

“Overall, our findings support counseling men with prostate cancer to follow a heart-healthy diet in which carbohydrate calories are replaced with unsaturated oils and nuts to reduce the risk of all-cause mortality. … The potential benefit of vegetable fat consumption for prostate cancer-specific outcomes merits further research,” the authors concluded.

Source: American Medical Association

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