T Nation

Fat and Prostate Cancer


I was listening to the radio yesterday and heard a doctor talking about studies that indicate that there could a link between high fat diets and prostate cancer. How would this change the view of the health benefits/detriments of a diet like the Anabolic Diet?


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These types of studies are very difficult to interpret.

Sendentary people? Fat people who eat a lot of fat? What types of fat?

There are a lot of interacting elements at play which make it difficult to tell until research can delve into the how and why of things instead of correlations.


I think it would be difficult to mega dose on fish oil.


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I doubt the connection. Prostate cancer is probably due to low testosterone, which is why all men > 40 years old should get their testosterone levels checked.

Doctors are always down on meat and milk. We followed their advice and actually consume less now than men in 1900. Cancer has since shot up. Since life expectancy is longer, though, its hard to compare.

I think vegetable oils are the culprit. Butter is way better for you.


You must be kiddin' me! Surely we consume a lot more milk now than we did around the 1900s.

Of course, today's food is not as nutrient rich as it used to be either.


To claim that low fat, low meat, low dairy diets are causing higher life expectancy you would have to ignore advancements in medical research.


The main cause for our increased life expectancy is sanitation. Not many cholera outbreaks lately around here.

I don't give much credance to medical research as helping anything, except doctors and pharmaceutical companies to line their pockets. Sure, they've made some advances since the whole system is not corrupt (MRI, CAT scans, and such). Most of the medical profession though is just a bunch of high-priced whores selling worthless/dangerous drugs.


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I don't want to start an argument about a subject like this, but I would suggest that, if a doctor hands you a prescription, you google the name of the med followed by 'side effects'.

I did this with a High BP med called Lisinopril. Its an eye opener.

I don't remember where I read it but researchers found that people who've been diagnosed with High BP yet don't take the meds, live longer than those who do.

Cholesterol drugs are a scam and the statins are worse. You're basically trading 30 points off your cholesterol for kidney damage later, heart damage, and (if those don't get you) possibly cancer.

Doctors won't tell you to skip the meds, walk half an hour a day, and cut your calories. Where's the profit in that?


This is true

There is some truth to this but modern medicine has also done much to improve quality of life.


I haven't seen that study, and frankly I think there are too many variables to draw a blanket conclusion about fat. For instance, what kind of fat was predominant in the diet? Did the high fat subjects gain body fat, which contributes to estrogen levels, and other hormones?

Were the fats organic, or were they from non-organic food sources, in which case they were probably loaded with all sorts of goodies from bovine growth hormone to dioxin?

Generally, indiscriminate high fat diets have some bad health effects. We tend to concentrate here on their impact on our physique in a high carb/low fat vs. low carb/higher fat type discussion, but fat (generally, not specific types or from specific sources) is a culprit in a number of health problems (as are simple carbs, for that matter).

The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats might matter, so the study would need to not be feeding too much of the latter or it might simply be that a diet high in certain fats is the culprit but not all fats.

There are studies that implicate the importance of the ratio of inflammatory (omega-6 fats are usually what's tested) fats to anti-inflammatory (omega-3, usu. fish oil) fats in cancer progression.

For instance, if you have cancer cut the fat generally, but dramatically increase the fish oil, as most fats are slightly inflammatory while omega-3 fats are anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is one of the means by which cancer cells metastasize and invade.

While I haven't seen any studies on this phenomenon contributing to the development of cancers, it is logical that it would have an impact at least in some kinds of cancers. Our bodies are developing pre-cancerous conditions all the time, but our defenses deal with these before they become full-blown cancer.

Anything that gives the pre-cancerous and individual cancer cells an edge in resisting and multiplying would seem to logically increase the likelihood that we develop a cancer. Again, I haven't seen any studies on this.

To Headhunter's comment re doctors being down on milk and meat, I don't think they are down enough on them. Eating meat and milk products produced by our current food industry is high on the list of risky behaviors. It isn't necessarily the milk or the meat per se, but how the animals are raised, and what they are fed and injected with.

We know from basic science that eating up the food chain gets you a healthy dose of whatever bad stuff humans dump into the environment through a process called bio-accumulation.

Add to that the hormones, anti-biotics, corn (which makes cows very unhealthy but bigger), all sorts of inappropriate foods (like feeding cow rendered cow parts) in feed, and living in too close proximity, and you have a recipe for highly tainted food.

While this isn't the only culprit for higher cancer rates (I can list dozens), it seems prudent to limit eating up the food chain and to avoid non-organic products especially when they are high in animal fats that store a lot of the bad stuff the animals are exposed to. Again, it is not the fat per se, but what's in the fat that seems the bigger concern.

Of course some fats are good cancer fighters. Fish oil being the most prominent among them. Just make sure that your fish oil is tested and certified to be free of heavy metals and/or purified. Flax seed oil is a bit more problematic, as it has been implicated in prostate problems.

It is probably safe to take a very small amount of flax seed oil for men in a multi-good fat supplement (like Udo's Choice), but men should avoid flax seed oil generally, and rely on fish oil for their essential fatty acid supplements.

And no, I'm not a doctor. Just someone with too much education who has had too much cancer in my family of recent (lost my father & sister-in-law last year and now have a mother-in-law battling cancer) and has had cancer myself, and had a strong incentive to read extensively in the medical literature on the subject.


If I go by all the articles I've read then I would have to say that
Yes High saturated fat's cause cancer and tons of other ailments.
Everybody should a glass of milk and Oj every day for calcium and antioxidants to prevent arthritis and osteosomethinginwomen.
No need for beef, but two 3oz servings a week will give you the protein, creatine, and iron you need.
Two servings of salmon a week for omega 3's, any more and you will die of mercury poison.
A multivitamin, handful of blueberries, almonds, and flax seeds daily for...I don't know they just said do it.
Don't forget your 20 minute walk 3 times a week.

As I look around I see back in 1900's old people died, and they still do now. Cars seem to kill the most people under 50 that I know. Hard drugs, and alcohol abuse come in second. 55 to 65 tend to be the people that ate as much and whatever they want. 65 to 70 seems to be the stressful lives people, 70 to 75 seem to be the lonely old men. 75 and up seems to be random.
My personal belief, alot more people had cancers in the late 1800's and 1900's but either A did not get tested, or b) they were improperly diagnosed during those times. This would change the increasing cancer rates. You also have to remember with a longer life expectency comes more availability for people that would be dead to get cancer and mess up the stats.