Low carbohydrate diet may slow prostate cancer


New York: A low-carbohydrate diet may help slow the growth of prostate tumours, according to researchers at Duke University.

They have discovered that a diet low in carbohydrates facilitates a reduction in insulin production which stalls prostate tumour growth, according to a report in Science Daily.

Lead researcher and urologist, Dr Stephen Freedland of the Duke University Medical Centre said: “This study showed that cutting carbohydrates may slow tumour growth.”

The research, on rodents, compared prostate tumour growth in 75 animals that were eating either a low-carbohydrate diet, a low-fat but high-carbohydrate diet, or a Western diet which is high in fat and carbohydrates.

They found that those ate a low-carbohydrate diet had the longest survival and smallest tumour size — the findings have been published in the ‘Prostate’ journal.

According to Dr Freedland, “Low-fat mice had shorter survival and larger tumours while mice on the Western diet had the worst survival and biggest tumours.

“In addition, though both the low-carb and low-fat mice had lower levels of insulin, only the low-carb mice had lower levels of the form of insulin-like growth factor capable of stimulating tumour growth.

“The low-carbohydrate diet definitely had the most significant effect on tumour growth and survival.”

Dr Freedland and his fellow researchers are now planning to test the findings of this study in humans. “If this is ultimately confirmed in human clinical trials, it has huge implications for prostate cancer therapy through something that all of us can control, our diets.”