According to new studies, conducted by scientists from University of California in Los Angeles, reducing the intake of dietary fat commonly found in a western meal, helps prevent prostate cancer in mice. Since a mouse model closely mimics human cancer, researchers are hopeful that these findings will help in preventing and curing prostate cancer in humans.
A group of researchers, led by William Aronson, made one group of mice have a diet with about 40 per cent of calories coming from fat (an amount typical in men eating a Western diet), while the other group had a diet which consisted of 12 per cent calories from fat (usually found in a very low fat diet). In their research, they focused on fat from corn oil, which is made up primarily of omega-6 fatty acids, commonly found in high levels in baked and fried goods.
According to a media release from the UCLA, researchers found a 27 per cent reduced incidence of prostate cancer in the low-fat diet group. Not only this, the scientists also studied cells in the prostate that would soon become cancer, and found that the cells in the mice eating the low-fat diet were growing much more slowly than those in the high-fat group.
Using these findings, the scientists are expecting significant breakthroughs in treating prostate cancer in humans and are planning animal and human trials soon.
As Aronson says in a statement for the UCLA media release, “A low-fat, high-fiber diet combined with weight loss and exercise is well known to be healthy in terms of heart disease and is known to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, so that would be a healthy choice to make. Whether or not it will prevent prostate cancer in humans remains to be seen.”
The scientists, from UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center and the Department of Urology, have published their findings in the peer-reviewed journal Cancer Research.