Health Female Adda
11 months ago
Can high-protein diets prevent prostate cancer?

It is a no-brainer that a man’s diet impacts his overall health and all the major organs in the body. The prostate is no different. As a man ages, there are certain changes that happen to this organ, like it slowly grows in size. But there are other risks related to it — one of them is developing prostate cancer, a reason why prostate cancer is also called the old man’s disease. However, this is a myth; even young men can suffer from the same if the cells inside the gland go amok. But there are ways one can prevent an onset and one of them is by eating the right foods that boost immunity and health.

When we talk about diet most often we are talking about carbohydrates and fats, somehow protein slips from this discussion unless you are talking in the context of muscles, biceps and abs, especially for men. But remember as a man ages protein intake should be given more prominence than ever.  The ideal level of protein intake for optimal overall health or prostate health is unclear. Despite the popularity of low carbohydrate diets that are high in protein, recent studies reported that low protein intake was associated with lower risk for cancer and overall mortality among men aged 65 years and younger. However, once you cross that mark, low protein intake was associated with a higher risk for cancer and overall mortality. This is why we take a closer look on how protein intake and prostate health are related.

Here are the different protein sources and how they keep the prostate healthy

Animal-based protein: Protein that is achieved from animal sources, basically the meat is not just pure protein it has a fair amount of fat, cholesterol, minerals and other nutrients and the amounts vary from one kind of animal protein to another — whether you are having fish, chicken, lean meat or red meat. Studies have shown that eating skinless chicken, lower in cholesterol was less harmful to the prostate as compared to red meat which was high in saturated fat. Consumption of baked chicken was inversely associated with advanced prostate cancer risk, while cooked red meat was associated with increased prostate cancer risk. So, how the meat is prepared also has an effect on the gland. Also, fish consumption is associated with reduced prostate cancer mortality, but fish cooked in high temperature could increase the risk of prostate cancer. Studies concluded that of all the various types of animal protein fish stands to be the best bet when cooked in moderate temperature.

Dairy-based protein: Another common protein source is dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt. In particular, low fat or skim milk increased low-grade prostate cancer, whereas whole milk increased fatal prostate cancer risk. Though the exact components of dairy products driving these associations are unknown, the high concentrations of saturated fat and calcium are hypothesised to be the cause. There are various studies that say that the link between dairy intake and prostate is very inconsistent. But if you need to indulge in dairy products choose the low-fat versions for lesser damage. Talk to your dietician or doctor to know how much dairy is harmful to your prostate.

Plant-based protein: There is some evidence that soy and soy-based products are rich in protein and phytoestrogens that may facilitate prostate cancer prevention. A recent randomized trial of 177 men with the high-risk disease after radical prostatectomy found that soy protein supplementation for two years had no effect on risk of prostate cancer recurrence. But experts also believe that more research will be needed to ascertain how plant-based proteins help in preventing prostate cancer.

So it can be concluded that a low-protein diet can help to keep the prostate healthy. But if you need to know how much of it can be harmful, especially if you have a kidney condition where you have to limit your protein intake, talk to your doctor to know how to incorporate protein in your diet.


Lin, P.-H., Aronson, W., & Freedland, S. J. (2015). Nutrition, dietary interventions and prostate cancer: the latest evidence. BMC Medicine, 13, 3.

Image source: Shutterstock




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