Science has shown the power a plant-based diet has on heart health. Now, three new studies suggest the diet also may help protect men from prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction (ED). The results were presented at the American Urological Association meeting in September 2021.
In the first study, researchers looked at about 1,400 men, average age 54, who were part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Those who ate more fruits and vegetables were less likely to have elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) scores — an indicator of possible prostate cancer — than those who did not follow a plant-based diet. In a second study, researchers randomly selected 2,549 men from the NHANES and found that those who had a higher intake of fruits and vegetables also had a lower risk for ED.
For the third study, about 27,000 study participants filled out diet questionnaires every four years for 28 years. The results showed that those who followed a plant-based diet were less likely to get prostate cancer. And those who did get cancer were less likely to develop advanced cases.
These studies only showed associations and cannot verify causes, but men who follow plant-based diets have a potential win-win. The diet is also linked to other health benefits, including better blood pressure, a reduced risk of heart disease, and a healthier weight.
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