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High fiber diet could slow the progression of prostate cancer

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 10th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Researchers have found that eating plenty of whole grains and plant-based foods has the potential to control the progression of prostate cancer in the early stages of the disease. The study was prompted when it was discovered that men in Western cultures suffer from more advanced stages of the disease, whereas their Asian counterparts do not.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The rate of prostate cancer in both cultures remain similar.

Scientists at the University of Colorado Cancer Center set out to find out why, and found the answer may be a high-fiber diet. Laboratory mice fed with of inositol hexaphosphate, or IP6, a major component of high-fiber diets, to a group of mice that were not.

MRI scans studied the progression of prostate cancer in both groups.

Research instructor at the Skaggs School of Pharmaceutical Sciences Komal Raina says that "the study's results were really rather profound."

Researchers witnessed dramatic reduced tumor volumes, primarily due to the effects IP6 had on the growth of blood vessels.

Good sources of fiber include:

Whole meal, granary and soft grain varieties of bread

Jacket/new/baked potatoes in their skins

Wholegrain breakfast cereals, eg. Weetabix, bran flakes, unsweetened muesli, Shreddies and porridge oats

Whole meal pasta, brown rice

Beans, lentils and peas

Fresh and dried fruits - particularly if skins are eaten

Vegetables - particularly if the skins are eaten

Nuts and seeds

Whole meal flour

Basically, the chemical kept prostate tumors from making the new blood vessels they needed to supply themselves with energy. Without this energy, the cancer couldn't grow. Likewise, treatment with IP6 slowed the rate at which prostate cancers metabolized glucose.

Raina added that a possible outcome for the effect of IP6 against metabolism includes a reduction in a protein called GLUT-4, which is instrumental in transporting glucose.

"Researchers have long been looking for genetic variations between Asian and Western peoples that could explain the difference in prostate cancer progression rates, but now it seem as if the difference may not be genetic but dietary.

"Asian cultures get [more] IP6 whereas Western cultures generally do not," Raina says.

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