Vegans have a 35% reduced risk of developing prostate cancer, according to a major new study funded by World Cancer Research Fund.
Scientists at Loma Linda University in California, USA looked at over 26,000 men, and for the first time assessed the link between prostate cancer and various types of diet including non-vegetarian, pescatarian and vegan diets.
“The evidence around the disease-preventative qualities of the vegan diet is now overwhelming. Time and again we are seeing new research showing the vegan diet to be significantly better for our health,” said Jimmy Pierce, spokesperson for The Vegan Society.
“Still lingering, however, is the perception that eating meat is macho, that it somehow enhances masculinity or virility. Yet it is killing thousands of men in the UK every year. Now is the time to reject this outdated notion and embrace plant-based living regardless of gender – for the animals and the planet as well as your health,” Pierce added.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK with over 47,000 new cases annually. Over 10,000 men die of the cancer each year, and worldwide it is the second most common cancer in men.
“This exciting research has, for the first time, helped fill some vital gaps in our knowledge about eating patterns and the prevention of prostate cancer. Prevention is key if we are to see a decrease in the number of men developing the disease,” said Dr Panagiota Mitrou, Director of Research Funding at World Cancer Research Fund.
Today’s findings are very similar to those published by the American Society for Nutrition in 2014 which concluded that high intakes of dairy products may increase prostate cancer risk.
It also comes just months after the World Health Organisation classified processed meat as carcinogenic to humans, on a par with tobacco. Eating just 50g per day (two rashers of bacon) increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%, its report found.