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Medwatch-Dietary changes may help with prostate cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives. But research shows men with prostate cancer can make small dietary changes that could impact their cancer survival.

The foods men eat can impact prostate cancer growth. 

"If they're eating sugary things and they're eating a lot of meat and dairy products, we know that provides fuel to the cancer cells as best as we can tell," said Dr. David Levy, Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Levy tells his prostate cancer patients to limit red meat and eat it no more than two or three times per month. He also recommends significantly limiting dairy and sugary foods. Lots of fruits, vegetables and grains are encouraged.

Dr. Levy also advises his patients to increase their omega-3 intake. Omega-3 is found in salmon, fortified eggs and supplements. Patients are also asked to decrease their intake of omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids are found in things like hamburgers, hotdogs, French fries and chicken wings. Adjusting the ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 has been shown to slow the growth of prostate cancer cells.

He says vitamin D levels also play a role.

"Low vitamin D levels have been correlated with more aggressive prostate cancers and more aggressive cancer cell behavior. Higher vitamin D levels seem to slow down the cells,” Dr. Levy said.

If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, Dr. Levy recommends talking to your health care provider or a registered dietitian to see if they think diet changes might help in your situation.

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