Prostate Cancer Risk: Dairy Products or Vegan Diet?

Posted on by Neal Barnard, MD, FACC

Research shows that men who consume three or more servings of low- or high-fat dairy products a day had a 141% higher risk for death due to prostate cancer compared to those who consumed less than one serving. Other research has also linked dairy to increased prostate cancer risk and mortality. Red and processed meat and eggs are also associated with increased risk for prostate cancer. On the other hand, eating a plant-based diet has been linked to lower prostate cancer risk and slower progression if diagnosed. Fruits and vegetables rich in lycopene (the bright red pigment found in tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit) may be especially beneficial. Men who consume two or more servings of tomato sauce per week have 23% less risk of prostate cancer, compared to those having tomato sauce less than once per month, according to data from the Harvard Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts) also offer protection. Here is a great tasting tomato soup recipe from 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart by Neal Barnard, MD; recipe by Jason Wyrick. Rich in lycopene, this is a perfect fall meal that can adds tons of prostate protection! Tomato Soup Makes 2 Servings • 1/2 yellow onion, diced • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves • 1/4 tsp. salt • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper • 1/8 tsp. ground cumin • 1 cup water • 1/2 cup short-grain rice • 1 cup rinsed red beans (optional) • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional) Directions Sauté the onion over medium heat until it just starts to brown. Add the garlic, sautéing for another minute. Add the remaining ingredients (including optional crushed red pepper, if desired), except for the rice. Simmer until tomatoes are soft. Smash the tomatoes with your spoon as they cook until they have turned into sauce. Add the rice and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 25 minutes, or until rice is done. If you're adding the optional beans, do so once the soup is removed from the heat. Photo from here, with thanks.