Low-Carb-Prostate Cancer Study--WRONG!

It seems like anytime the phrase “low-carb” is mentioned in research, you can pretty much just assume it’s wrong. Like this study claiming fat and meat are unlikely to impact prostate cancer risk. Reuters reported:

In an email to Reuters Health, principal investigator Dr. Laurence N. Kolonel and first author Song-Yi Park of the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, said: "Although diet is likely to influence prostate cancer risk, the intake of total and saturated fat do not appear to be important contributors. However, because high intake of fat can lead to obesity as well as other cancers, the consumption of high fat foods should be limited."

How can this be? When foods like meat, cheese, and animal fat have all demonstrated a positive correlation with prostate cancer and all these foods are staples of low-carb living. Check out this quote from Dr. Fuhrman:

When the death rates for prostate cancer and testicular cancer were examined in forty-two countries and correlated with dietary practices in a carefully designed study, they found that cheese consumption was most closely linked with the incidence of testicular cancer for ages twenty to thirty-nine, and milk was the most closely associated with prostate cancer of all foods.1 Meat, coffee, and animal fats also showed a positive correlation.

Now, this new report will have you saying, “What the—” Apparently researchers from Duke University Medical Center have determined that a low-carb diet may slow prostate tumor growth. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News has more:

"This study showed that cutting carbohydrates may slow tumor growth, at least in mice. If this is ultimately confirmed in human clinical trials, it has huge implications for prostate cancer therapy through something that all of us can controls, our diets," lead researcher Dr. Stephen Freedland, a urologist at Duke University Medical Center, said in a prepared statement…

…They compared tumor growth in mice eating either a low-carbohydrate diet; a low-fat but high-carbohydrate diet; or a Western diet high in fat and carbohydrates.

Wow! What a measuring stick, the Western diet? No doubt this report will spur the latest wave of low-carb fanaticism. So, let DiseaseProof be your beacon of truth. Here’s more of Dr. Fuhrman talking about animal products and prostate cancer-causation. Check it out:

A study in the December 2006 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that less animal products result in less cancer and more animal protein raises IGF-1 and promotes breast and prostate cancer...

…Studies have repeatedly shown the correlation between consumption of [fruits and vegetables] and a lower incidence of various cancers, including those of the breast, colon, rectum, lung, stomach, prostate, and pancreas.2

Clearly, animal products are no ally in the fight against prostate cancer and it’s pretty obvious that increased consumption of fruits and vegetables is the key, but with that being said, the dangers of refined carbohydrates should not be overshadowed. Dr. Fuhrman explains:

Medical investigations clearly show the dangers of consuming the quantity of processed foods that we do. And because these refined grains lack fiber and nutrient density to turn down our appetite, they also cause obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and significantly increased cancer risk3...

…The combination of fat and refined carbohydrates has an extremely powerful effect on driving the signals that promote fat accumulation on the body. Refined foods cause a swift and excessive rise in blood sugar, which in turn triggers insulin surges to drive the sugar out of the blood and into our cells. Unfortunately, insulin also promotes the storage of fat on the body and encourages your fat cells to swell.

So after considering all this, one should hardly take this low-carb endorsement seriously. To close, I’ll let Dr. Fuhrman’s colleague Steven Acocella, DC, MS, DACBN offer up his reasoning why anyone would choose to go low-carb. Take a look:

Addiction is the only reason that anyone would continue to maintain that a pro-Atkin’s, low-carbohydrate diet is health promoting. One would have to literally ignore thousands of studies that irrefutably support these findings. For every research article that dispels the direct relationship between a low-carb, high protein/high fat diet style and disease promotion there’s about 500 studies that refute it.

Kind of hits the nail on the head—don't you think?

1. Ganmaa D, Li XM, Wang J, et al. Incidence and mortality of testicular and prostatic cancers in relation to world dietary practices. Int J Cancer 2002;98(2):262-267.

2. Franceschi, S., M. Parpinel, C. La Vecchia, et al. 1998. Role of different types of vegetables and fruit in the prevention of cancer of the colon, rectum and breast. Epidmiology 9 (3): 338-41; Van Den Brandy, P.A. 1999. Nutrition and cancer: causative, protective, and therapeutic aspects. Ned. Tijdschr. Genneskd. 143 (27): 1414-20; Fraser, G.E. 1999. Association between diet and cancer, ischemic heart disease, and all-cause mortality in non-Hispanic white California Seventh-Day Adventists. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. (3S): 532-38S.

3. Jacobs, D.R., L. Marquart , J. Slavin, and L.H. Kushi. 1998. Whole-grain intake and cancer: and expanded review and cancer: an expanded review and meta-analysis. Nutrition and Cancer 30 (2): 85-96; Chatenoud, L., A. Tavani, C. La Vecchia, et al. 1998. Whole-grain food intake and cancer risk. Int. J. Cancer 77 (1): 24-28.

Trackbacks (0) Links to blogs that reference this article Trackback URL
Comments (2) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Donnie Whetstone - September 20, 2009 4:40 AM

Gerry you strike me as a person who either has a personal beef with low carb eating or someone who doesn't know what their talking about. My carb intake is very low consisting of lots of vegetables and a little fruit on occasion eat on an average of 30 ounces of meat of all kinds a day along with two protein shakes. My fat intake, which is considerably higher than my carb intake come from my meats, avocado, fish oil and on occasion nuts. You seem to hold the mindset of Dr Ornish when he states "Eating fat makes you fat." My body fat is under 10%. The way I see it, eating fat doesn't make you fat; eating to many calories regardless of the source makes you fat.

My morning BP is 107 over 68 with a morning HR of 53. I'm very insulin sensitive which is important since my grandfather died from and my father currently has adult onset diabetes.

As far as low carb eating and cancer goes, I believe allot of the research in favor of low carb diets comes from the research done by Otto Warburg who won the Nobel Prize on the metabolic function of cancer cells back in the forties. To make a long story short, his findings concluded that cancer cells, unlike normal cells, cannot utilize ketones for fuel but can only utilize glucose.

I'll be the first to admit that the low carb approach isn't for everyone. I think that would be naive to think considering the diets of humans across the globe. Likewise, I consider your singular take on diet to be naive; especially since I'm healthy and happy with mine.

Sossen - April 23, 2012 6:01 AM

All studies decrying fat are observational. Most do not include the cultural association between "unhealthy" diets including lots of meat and the fact that people on these diets are less likely to be healthy in other aspects. Refer to a randomized longterm trial for more reliable results.

Post A Comment / Question Use this form to add a comment to this entry.

Remember personal info?