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Cancer Longevity and Age Management Men's Health

A diet rich in red meat can greatly increase the risk of prostate cancer

10 years, 9 months ago

2342  0
Posted on Feb 10, 2009, 11 a.m. By gary clark

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine has shown that there is a strong relationship between diets heavy in meat and diary products and prostate cancer.

The connection between prostate cancer and the insulin-like growth factor IGF-1 has been clearly demonstrated, thanks to Lead Researcher Andrew Roddam of Oxford University and his colleagues. In their current study, Roddam and his team compiled the results of 12 prior studies that had been done to evaluate whether a connection between IGF-1 and prostate cancer existed. In total, 3,700 men with prostate cancer and 5,200 without participated. The average age of participants was 62, and the average age of diagnosis was 67.

Depending upon their blood levels of IGF-1, participants were grouped one of five categories. Those men with the highest IGF-1 levels were 40 percent more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, independent of age, weight, alcohol consumption or smoking status. In those participants who developed cancer, the rate that tumors spread also correlated to the higher levels of the growth factor. As Roddam suggests, diets high in meat and dairy can potentially increase IGF-1 levels by up to 15 percent.

This is one of the first studies to provide compelling evidence of the link between IGF-1 and prostate cancer. Researchers have discovered that the growth hormone may inhibit "programmed cell death." This can lead to cells reproducing abnormally as they do with cancer.

"There is a need to identify risk factors for prostate cancer, especially those which can be targeted by therapy and/or lifestyle changes," says Roddam. "Now we know this factor is associated with the disease we can start to examine how diet and lifestyle factors can affect its levels and whether changes could reduce a man's risk." He cautions, however, that the IGF-1 levels of all 3,700 men who had developed prostate cancer were still normal. So IGF-1 levels cannot be used as a screening tool.

News Release: Eating meat boosts risk of prostate cancer by 40 percent February 6, 2009

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