Low-fat, flaxseed-supplemented diet may benefit prostate cancer patients

המידע באדיבות medicontext.co.il
Last Updated: 2001-08-06 17:31:11 EDT (Reuters Health)

By Steven Reinberg

WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) – A low-fat diet supplemented with flaxseed appears to reduce the growth of prostate cancer cells, according to the results of a small pilot study.

Dr. Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, from Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, and colleagues studied 25 patients with prostate cancer who were about to undergo a prostatectomy. The patients were placed on a diet in which only 20% of total kilocalories came from fat. In addition, patients received 30 g/day of ground flaxseed, according to the report in the July issue of Urology.

Over an average of 34 days, the subjects experienced a significant decrease in mean total testosterone, free androgen index and serum cholesterol, Dr. Demark-Wahnefried told Reuters Health. In addition, she said, men who had a Gleason sum score of 6 or less before starting the diet showed a trend toward decreased PSA.

When the investigators looked at the prostates after prostatectomy, they found that prostate cancer cells were dividing much less rapidly and were self-destructing much more quickly in the treatment subjects compared with matched controls, Dr. Demark-Wahnefried said.

The researchers are unsure which part of the diet produced this cancer-fighting effect. However, Dr. Demark-Wahnefried said that in cell-culture studies in which prostate cancer cells were exposed to the lignins from flaxseed, they found significant decreases in cell growth. "It looks like these lignins may be responsible for the results we saw," she added. "If there is a synergistic effect [with] the low-fat diet portion of the diet, it is unknown at this time."

Dr. Demark-Wahnefried noted that although this was a small pilot study, the findings were compelling. "We will be launching a larger study in January comparing the effects of a low-fat diet with and without flaxseed supplementation."

Dr. Demark-Wahnefried and colleagues hope to be able to develop a diet that will retard prostate cancer. In addition, she told Reuters Health that they are working toward using this strategy to prevent prostate cancer. "If these results hold, maybe 10 years down the road we will be testing this diet as a preventative to prostate cancer," she said.

Urology 2001;58:47-52.

-Westport Newsroom 203 319 2700

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