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Study of low-fat, high-fiber diet finds no effect on PSA levels in men over a four-year period

A low-fat, high-fiber diet heavy in fruits and vegetables has no impact on PSA levels in men over a four-year period, and does not affect the incidence of prostate cancer, according to a study by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the National Cancer Institute, and seven other centers. The four-year, randomized study examined whether a short-term dietary intervention would impact serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in men an important marker for the onset and development of prostate cancer. Results of previously conducted observational studies have differed on whether a low-fat, high-fiber diet protects against prostate cancer.

"This is a rigorous and randomized study that provides valuable data which previously did not exist," said Moshe Shike, MD, lead author of the study and Director of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Prevention Program. "Although this study found no protective effect over four years, it is possible that a healthy dietary pattern sustained over many more years will have an inhibitory effect on prostate cancer."

In the study, 1,350 men without prostate cancer were randomly assigned to the dietary intervention or a control group. The 689 men in the intervention arm received intensive nutrition counseling to consume a diet low in fat and high in fruits, vegetables and fiber, while the 661 men assigned to the control arm received a standard brochure detailing healthy dietary recommendations. To determine the change in PSA levels over time, researchers measured the PSA levels in both groups at the beginning of the study, and then annually for four years.

After four years, there was no marked difference in PSA levels between the two groups, and the proportion of patients with raised PSA levels was equal at each point over the four years. Incidence of prostate cancer during the study was also statistically similar between the two groups: 19 patients in the control arm and 22 in the int
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Contact: Stacia Momburg
momburgs@asco.org
703-299-1014
American Society of Clinical Oncology
29-Aug-2002


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