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Finding the Right Prostate Cancer Diet

Studies Point to Protective Role of Vegetables, Risky Role of Eggs
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Pomegranate Juice Protective continued...

Pantuck says that when the study was scheduled to end, a lot of the men didn't want to give up the pomegranate juice. So its design was amended and men were allowed to continue consuming their purple drink.

As of August 2007, 17 men had been followed for an average of 58 months. Their PSA doubling time is now nearly five times slower than before they started drinking the juice, Pantuck tells WebMD.

"There's a very durable improvement," he says.

The researchers are now enrolling men in a major clinical trial that will pit pomegranate juice against placebo.

Tomatoes Fight Prostate Cancer

A third study presented at the meeting suggests that lycopene -- an antioxidant found mainly in tomatoes and tomato products -- can cut the chance that prostate cancer will spread.

The researchers gave 45 men with cancer confined to the prostate either no supplement or lycopene supplements for four to six weeks. The supplements contained 15, 30, or 45 milligrams of lycopene.

While the study was too short to determine if lycopene lowered PSA, "we did see evidence that lycopene, at both the 30-milligram and 45-milligram doses slows cell proliferation," says researcher Nagi Kumar, RD, of the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. Cell proliferation is a sign of tumor growth and spread.

Last year, a major study of lycopene in 28,000 men made headlines when it showed that lycopene had little impact on prostate cancer risk.

It contradicted earlier research suggesting a protective role for lycopene.

Chan says that she's still a believer. "My reading of the literature is that on balance, lycopene-rich products such are tomatoes are likely to have benefit," she tells WebMD.

ASCO spokesman Alan Pollack, MD, PhD, a prostate cancer specialist at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, stresses the importance of a balanced diet.

"I generally tell my patients, 'What is good for your heart is good for your prostate,'" he says.

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