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How a High Fat Diet Contributes to Prostate Cancer

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Researchers have discovered how a high fat diet contributes to prostate disease and cancer. Findings from Case Western Reserve University researchers show that a high fat diet triggers a protein that controls DNA and leads to inflammation and prostate diseases. The discovery showing how a high fat diet can lead to prostate cancer, prostatitis and benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) explain the possible link between a high fat diet and prostate diseases.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men. Dietary factors have consistently been shown to increase the chances of developing the disease. Researchers found that fat triggers the protein complex that controls DNA transcription called nuclear factor kappa B or NF-B. The protein is activated in response to stress and inflammation brought about by consuming foods high in fat.

The most common prostate problems experienced by men are prostatitis and enlargement of the prostate (BPH). When researchers fed mice high fat diet and compared the mice to a control group given low fat diet they discovered how fat affects the prostate gland.

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Markers of oxidative stress were measured in the prostate cells of the mice, providing direct evidence that a high fat diet triggers the protein complex nuclear factor kappa B, setting off a chain reaction. The result of a high fat diet was increased weight of the prostate gland, cell proliferation that leads to BPH and inflammation.

Sanjay Gupta, MS, PhD, Carter Kissell associate professor & research director in the Department of Urology and associate professor in the Department of Nutrition in the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine says, "Our studies provide evidence that a high-fat diet increases the activation of NF-B" and then other markers of inflammation.

The study shows how eating a typical high fat Western diet contributes little to prostate health. Scientists now have more understanding about how a high fat diet promotes oxidative stress and inflammation that can lead to prostate cancer.

AACR: DOI 10.1002/pros.21230