Men with early stage prostate cancer who make intensive changes in diet and lifestyle may stop or perhaps even reverse the progression of their illness, say researchers at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF).

The research team studied 93 men with biopsy-proven prostate cancer who had elected not to undergo conventional treatment. They were randomly divided into either a group who were asked to make comprehensive changes in diet and lifestyle or a comparison group who were not asked to do so. The treatment group was placed on a vegan diet consisting primarily of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes supplemented with soy, vitamins and minerals. They also participated in moderate aerobic exercise, yoga/meditation and a weekly support group session.

After one year, the researchers found that PSA levels (a marker for prostate cancer) decreased in men in the group who made lifestyle changes but increased in the comparison group. Also, they found that serum from the participants inhibited prostate tumour growth in vitro by 70% in the lifestyle-change group but only 9% in the comparison group.

Source: UCSF, Aug 12, 2005