Vegetarian diet, stress management slows PSA rise in prostate cancer patients

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – A vegetarian diet combined with a program of stress management increases prostate specific antigen (PSA) doubling time in men who had undergone prostatectomy for adenocarcinoma.

Dr. Gordon A. Saxe, of the University of California at San Diego, and colleagues enrolled a group of 10 men and their partners in a 4-month study comparing PSA doubling times before and after beginning a low-fat, high-fiber, vegetarian diet plus the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program. The men served as their own controls.

The investigators report "…an almost 3-fold increase in PSA doubling time (although the confidence interval was large because of small sample size) and an absolute decrease in PSA in 3 men" as a result of the intervention.

Specifically, PSA doubling time increased from 6.5 months at baseline to 17.7 months after the study. All 10 study subjects lost weight.

Dr. Saxe and colleagues note, in the study published in the December issue of The Journal of Urology, that "…changes associated with the intervention, including increased dietary fiber intake and exercise level, and decreased body weight, were specific predictors of these outcomes."

The investigators add that by including the men's partners in the study, "…its effect would be expected to be more durable than one aimed only at the study participant."

J Urol 2001;166:2202-2207.

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