Going vegan could help prevent prostate cancer, study finds

A vegan diet may slash the risk of prostate cancer, a study has suggested Credit: PA

A vegan diet could slash the risk of prostate cancer in men by up to 35 per cent, a new study suggests.

In a World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF)-funded study examining the data of 26,000 men, scientists looked into whether there was any relationship between prostate cancer and meat-eating, fish-based and vegan diets.

Researchers from Loma Linda University in California found that men who followed a vegan diet had a "statistically significant protective association" - with a 35 per cent lower risk of developing the disease.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the UK, with more than 47,000 diagnoses and 10,000 deaths every year.

Director of research funding at the WCRF, Dr Panagiota Mitrou, said more research was needed to establish the strength of the link between the cancer and a vegan diet - and specifically which aspect of veganism may be beneficial.

With prostate cancer being the most common cancer in men in the UK, prevention is key if we are to see a decrease in the number of men developing the disease.

Dr Panagiota Mitrou, WCRF
The study was welcomed by the Vegan Society Credit: PA

A vegan diet avoids all meat and dairy, and consists largely of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and pulses.

The study was welcomed by the Vegan Society, with spokesman Jimmy Pierce saying he hoped men would take notice.

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," he said.

Jimmy Pierce, Vegan Society

It comes as a separate study, published in the British Medical Journal, highlighted a possible link between radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer and an increased risk of developing secondary cancers of the bladder, colorectal tract and rectum.

Experts in Canada and the US looked at the results of 21 different studies and found a potential link.

Researchers called for the evidence to be taken into consideration if the patient has only low-risk, early-stage prostate cancer to balance whether the risks outweigh the benefits.