Using data from a study conducted in Montreal between 2005 and 2012, a team at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique INRS in Canada has demonstrated a relationship between a healthy diet and an aid to the prevention of prostate cancer.

Among other risk factors, more and more studies point to diet as an important factor in the development of prostate cancer, as it is for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.

In their work, published in the journal ‘Nutrients’, the researchers based their analysis on three main dietary profiles: a healthy diet, a salty western diet that includes alcohol, and a sugar-rich western diet with drinks.

The first profile leans heavily toward fruits, vegetables, and plant proteins like tofu and walnuts. The salty western diet with alcohol includes more meat and beverages like beer and wine. The third profile is rich in pasta, pizza, desserts and sugary carbonated drinks. The study took into account age, ethnicity, education, family history, and the date of the last prostate cancer test.

They found a relationship between a healthy diet and a lower risk of prostate cancer. By contrast, a western diet with sweets and drinks was associated with increased risk and appeared to be a factor in more aggressive forms of cancer. The study showed no clear relationship between a western diet with salt and alcohol and the risk of developing the disease.

Moving away from the typical approach used in epidemiological studies, which is to look at one nutrient or food group at a time, the researchers gathered data from a broader dietary profile.

“It is not easy to isolate the effect of a single nutrient. For example, foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus, promote iron absorption. Calcium is often found in dairy products, which also contain vitamin D. Our A more specific approach takes this synergy into account to produce more meaningful results that public health authorities can use to make recommendations. Instead of having a miracle food, people should look at their diet in general, “explains the study leader, Karine Trudeau.

“We have long suspected that diet might play a role in the development of prostate cancer, but it was very difficult to pinpoint the specific factors at play. This study is significant because it looks at dietary habits as a whole. We have discovered evidence which we hope can be used to develop prevention strategies for prostate cancer, the most common cancer among men in Canada and in many other countries, “says another author, Marie-Élise Parent.