A combined analysis of previous studies suggests that a diet high in fish may be linked with a reduction in risk of death from prostate cancer. These findings were recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.[1]

Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in U.S. men. In 2010 there were roughly 217,000 new diagnoses of prostate cancer and more than 32,000 deaths from the disease.

Recent research has focused heavily on the influence diet may have on the risk of developing or dying from cancer. Some studies have suggested that higher intake of fruits and vegetables and lower intake of meat and processed foods may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancers.[2]

In the current analysis, researchers analyzed published data from studies evaluating fish consumption and prostate cancer risk. Data were analyzed from 12 case-control studies representing 5,777 prostate cancer patients and 9,805 people without cancer and four cohort studies, which included almost 50,000 subjects.

According to the results, higher fish consumption did not reduce the likelihood of getting prostate cancer but was associated with a 63% reduction in risk of death from prostate cancer.

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Although this study failed to demonstrate a protective effect of fish consumption against the development of prostate cancer, the link between fish consumption and prostate cancer death may be important. Additional studies may elucidate the benefits of a diet high in fish, including protective effects against developing aggressive prostate cancer.

Reference:

[1] Szymanski KM, Wheeler DC and Mucci LA. Fish consumption and prostate cancer risk: a review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [early online publication]. September 15, 2010]

[2] Kirsh V, Peters U, Mayne S, et al. Prospective study of fruit and vegetable intake and risk of prostate cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2007;99:1200-1209.

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