It is a natural “superfood” and the one that reduces the risk of prostate cancer the most, but it is almost never consumed in Spain.

He prostate cancer currently second most common cancer in men, and the sixth one causing the most deaths. Until recently, it was less common in Asian countries, but it has increased rapidly as the so-called “Western diet” of additives, fats and sugar is replacing traditional foods in these countries as well.

He consumption of fruits and vegetables has been shown to reduce cancer risk overall, but diets based on cruciferous vegetables in particular, and its relationship to prostate cancer remains controversial. To clarify this issue, the journal Karger published the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis of this potential relationship.

vegetables like cauliflower, white cabbage and Brussels sprouts are among the least consumed in Spain but are known to contain biologically active components such as indole And isothiocyanate, two substances with anti-cancer properties. While these compounds have been associated with a lower risk of developing cancers such as endometrial, lung, stomach, and colon cancers, the association with prostate cancer has not been entirely clear.

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Therefore, the investigators responsible for the new review searched the databases PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library and Web of Science until September 2022. Cohort studies and case-control studies that examined the relationship between consumption of cruciferous vegetables and the risk of developing prostate cancer were included.

After obtaining in the first case up to 703 potential results from 4 databases and after eliminating duplication, irrelevant records and applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, they were finally taken into account. 16 studies in meta-analysis and final systematic review.

Thus, according to this meta-analysis, consumption of cruciferous vegetables would be associated with lower risk of prostate cancer. This effect will be confirmed even after taking into account possible confounding factors such as a family history of prostate cancer, smoking, alcohol consumption, and obesity.

It is known that prostate cancer is highly hereditary, and there is an explicit family aggregation. Smoking, alcohol and fat consumption also seem to increase the risk of developing this type of cancer.

For its part, consuming more cruciferous vegetables, in turn, is usually accompanied by the best way of life: less smoking, less alcohol consumption and lower BMI. However, even with these confounding factors, consumption of cruciferous vegetables separately according to this new meta-analysis would already result in a reduced risk of prostate cancer.

Unlike Western countries, Asian countries are the largest consumers of cruciferous vegetables. However, the authors acknowledge as a limitation that only one study was conducted in Japan in this meta-analysis and the other combined Japanese and European data. Most of the studies were conducted in North America and Europe, as These regions of the world have the highest prevalence of prostate cancer. .

As a final conclusion, the authors suggest that higher intake of cruciferous vegetables reduces prostate cancer risk. But given the paucity of scientific literature on the subject and the relatively small number of studies included in the current meta-analysis, they suggest the need for continued research rather than accepting these findings as dogma.

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