Meat, fat may not affect prostate cancer risk

By Tom Nordlie • Published: February 13th, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

For American men, the odds of getting prostate cancer bear an unsettling resemblance to a game of Russian roulette.

Overall, the disease strikes one in six. In 2007, it killed an estimated twenty-seven thousand in this country.

Many factors influence the odds an individual will get prostate cancer, including age, genetics and lifestyle.

Diet can play a role, too.

Surprisingly, two food groups might not make any difference… meat and fat.

That’s according to a study published recently in the International Journal of Cancer.

Researchers conducted dietary assessments on more than eighty-thousand men ages forty-five and up.

None of them had had prostate cancer.

During eight years of follow-up, about forty-four-hundred participants were diagnosed with the disease.

Statistical analysis showed virtually no difference in the prostate cancer rates between men who ate large amounts of meat and fat, and those who didn’t.

Participants came from four ethnic groups… Caucasians, African-Americans, Latinos and Japanese-Americans.

Ethnicity had no effect, except that Caucasians and Latinos got a margin of protection from omega-three fatty acids and alpha-linoleic (linn-uh-LAY-ick) acid.

So, is this the last word on meat, fat and prostate cancer?


For one thing, this study contradicts previous findings.

And because the dietary assessments involved questionnaires, it’s possible some participants didn’t accurately report their eating habits.

So men concerned about dodging the proverbial bullet should talk to their doctors about nutritional guidelines.

Because this is one time it pays to stack the odds in your favor.