Eating More Vegetables Did Not Affect Prostate Cancer Progression

Men with early stage prostate cancer did not show benefits from a vegetable-rich diet.

Comments: 31

  1. While eating vegetables is a good thing, it's fatuous to believe that eating more vegetables can stop or even slow the growth of cancers. (Not eating highly processed foods is beneficial to overall health, of course. McDonalds and KFC should be once-in-a-blue-moon treats, not a steady diet.)

  2. This headline is so damaging. There are studies that show a slowing of Prostate cancer progression on a Vegan diet. The message is not that vegetables don't help, It's that just increasing vegetable intake is not going far enough. You also need to be cutting out as many animal foods as possible and getting exercise.

  3. @Carol Why do people ignore the boundaries of the study and then criticize it for not being another study. The study and its conclusion was simple. Simply increasing veggie intake will not be sufficient. That is all. It was not nor did it pretend to be a study about a vegan or vegetarian diet, or cutting grains, dairy, red meat, animal protein, alcohol and increasing exercise. Another study regarding another diet might have resulted in another conclusion.

  4. @Carol - The headline looks like it accurately describes the study’s conclusions. Cognitive dissonance maybe? If they do, in fact exist, as you claim, please cite for us the randomized controlled trials that indicate that a vegan diet will slow prostate cancer progression. Help us learn. Thanks.

  5. @Carol - Well, here we are a couple of weeks later and still you have provided no scientific cites for us. Wonder why not?

  6. The control group was given "printed materials from the Prostate Cancer Foundation encouraging consumption of a vegetable-rich diet." The intervention group was "encouraged" to consume "at least 7 daily vegetable-fruit servings". And the conclusion was that "behavioral intervention that increased vegetable consumption did not significantly reduce the risk of prostate cancer progression among men with early-stage disease." Does anyone see the problem with this poorly designed study?? It's one reason why so many nutritional studies are worthless. There is NOTHING in this "trial" that determined the ACTUAL amount of vegetables & fruits consumed by participants. This is even less valuable than self-reporting studies, which are already well known to be not very valuable. It goes without saying that confounding factors weren't taken into account either - no controls for factors like consumption of dairy, meat, fats, processed foods, tobacco use, etc. EVEN IF the two groups were similar in these respects, it would STILL be impossible to gauge effects of increased fruit & veggies since there is no way to determine how else the diet changed. Garbage in garbage out.

  7. @zdub Apparently you did not actually read this article or your reading comprehension is insufficient to understand that the researchers verified the increase in fruit and vegetable consumption with blood tests.

  8. @zdub You don't have the expertise in evaluating this study.

  9. @zdub So there was no verification that anyone ate more vegetables? Just a phone call to encourage them and some articles about eating more veggies? That seems to be what the summary says, but I cannot access the actual study without paying.

  10. A healthy diet includes more than vegetables. Whole grains are included in any version of a healthy diet yet we routinely ignore them. Perhaps this because whole grains relate to bread that has been totally destroyed by the chemicals we add. A better approach is to include real whole grains and eat real food. ps. for 50 years we included a shive of wheat on our pennies. Now it is demonized. Go figure.

  11. @Allan GMO Wheat soaked in round up is bad, organic wheat is good.

  12. Research has shown that the risk of prostate cancer and its progression are worsened by consuming such animal products as dairy foods, eggs, chicken and turkey. There is evidence that ground flaxseeds and a plant-based diet help to prevent this cancer and slow its progression.

  13. @William Can you cite your sources?

  14. @Mike Drs. Michael Greger and Dean Ornish, among others.

  15. @William - Dean Ornish has published no such peer reviewed data. Please cite it if you are not just imagining what you wish to believe. We are waiting. Thanks.

  16. Diet affects health BEFORE disease. This we know.

  17. My husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer at 49 years old. At the time, he was ate red meat (or processed red meat) at least 5 times a week, but he also ate lots of vegetables. After treatment, his diet changed to red meat no more than once a month (and only grass fed) with an introduction of legumes and more whole grains, more fish and chicken, and of course, all those vegetables he already ate. At 63 he is cancer free and other than treatment for hypertension, very healthy. Though he had increased prostate cancer risk due to disease on both sides of his family (father, uncles on mother's side), we think his heavy diet of feedlot produced red meat probably contributed to his early diagnosis. Vegetables are great for a healthy diet, but they don't make up for other poor choices.

  18. While we are told to maintain a healthy balanced diet with a majority of whole grains and vegetables, according to the food pyramid we were taught as a kid. While we now know that the food pyramid isn't exactly the perfect model for a healthy and balanced diet, it still is good to follow it to an extent. Eating whole grain foods and has shown to have lots of positive health benefits. We have been told time and time again a diet composed of plants or an entirely plant based diet or a keto diet, studies have also shown otherwise. And therefore, we are led to believe that transitioning to a plant-based diet is good for the body. On the other hand, there are unhealthy diets as well composed of oily foods, sweets and a majority red meat diet as well. While I personally don’t believe going all in on a certain type of diet is the way to go, I think in moderation everything is good for us. Our body can handle everything in moderation from fast food to healthy salads. Going all in on a certain type of diet can also put pressure on certain organs. For instance studies have shown that keto diets can affect the heart and the kidney negatively. In the end it all depends on the person cause everyone’s bodies are different and how much people can handle and in moderation everything should turn out alright.

  19. It's interesting that, aside from diet, no other medicinal interventions were mentioned in the two years of the study. Is this how early stage Prostate cancer is typically being handled?

  20. Looks like a so-so study that is hard to draw meaningful conclusions from (so they draw bad ones, unfortunately). Most dietary interventions I know of involving increased veggie intake completely cut out meat, dairy and alcohol. They also greatly reduce fat, especially saturated fat, but also refined oils.

  21. The conclusion of the study authors is flawed. Both the intervention and control groups' meat consumption is still similar. Were there alcohol consumption and exercise differences between the participants? These are confounding elements that weren't addressed. This study doesn't answer the question as to whether substantially reducing or eating no meat and having a vegetable only diet would make a difference. @NicholasBakalar, please investigate the studies rather than just report the author's conclusions.

  22. You only want to change one variable at a time. They added vegetables and it didn’t help. Next time look at meat consumption.

  23. The inclusion of animal protein in the diet that was designed to slow/reverse the symptoms of any cancer was clearly problematic. Battling cancer through dietary means requires that the patient follows a rigorous diet that does not include animal protein. Lifestyle changes and dietary supplements are mandatory for good results. Merely eating more vegetables doesn’t cut it.

  24. So vegans never get cancer.

  25. It is curious how a study this vague can conclude that vegetables have no impact on cancer. The argument is leaving behind many things to say, what about the intake of red meat? Exercise? Alcohol? Sugar? Stress? Dairy? Both the study and the argument must revise their conclusion with more factors rather than just stating that vegetables make no difference when we don’t know if the other factors mention above were controlled or not. The article changes the perception of the reader because it makes you expect that only by eating more vegetables you would stop the progression of cancer. It is rather a mixture of all different habits that will impact the progression of cancer, in this case, prostate cancer. This article is defiantly missing an argument that argues the idea that eating vegetables is not enough, simultaneously the patient should reduce the intake of red meat, dairy, and other sugary products. Overall changing your diet is one of many steps patients with cancer should do to change their well being The message of the article is not well said, rather it confuses the audience. The author of the article can also suggest some types of food that agree with this type of diet. This is to expand his argument and help the audience understand his point. Examples can replace red meat with beans that give you protein and change the amount of consumption of dairy.

  26. Nevertheless, eating more plant foods fights global warming. That will help prevent cancer from inhaling the growing smoke pollution.

  27. I have prostate cancer. As my Oncologist said “Dairy is Death”. Go Vegan.

  28. As others have pointed out, both groups consumed meat and dairy products. This study shows nothing re: vegetarian vs non-vegetarian diet effects on cancer. The author of this article should have made that clear.

  29. There are no health benefits from eating vegetables. All that epidemiologic evidence derives from their displacing dense carbs, like potatoes, from your dinner plate. Stop torturing your children. Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables http://advances.nutrition.org/content/3/4/506.full doi: 10.3945/ an.112.002154 Adv Nutr July 2012 Adv Nutr vol. 3: 506-516, 2012 Conclusions ... Fruits, vegetables, and legumes vary widely in nutrient content so should not be expected to have similar physiological effects. Although dietary guidance is supportive of a more vegetarian eating pattern, including increased servings of fruits and vegetables, the scientific support for these recommendations is mixed in an evidence-based review. Prospective cohort studies find weak support for the protectiveness of fruits and vegetables against chronic diseases, yet intake of fruits and vegetables in U.S. cohorts is low. Additionally, few randomized controlled trials have been published on the addition of fruits and vegetables to the diet and changes in biomarkers or health status. Nutrients in fruits and vegetables, such as dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, including polyphenols, all provide support for the biological plausibility that fruits and vegetables play a role in health.

  30. And French fries and baked potatoes are the only vegetables I eat.

  31. Although I did have wheat in my pizza crust today and barley and hops in my beer.