A high-fiber diet may have the clinical potential to control the progression of prostate cancer in patients diagnosed in early stages of the disease.
The rate of prostate cancer occurrence in Asian cultures is similar to
the rate in Western cultures, but in the West, prostate cancer tends to
progress, whereas in Asian cultures it does not. Why? A University of
Colorado Cancer Center study published in the January 2013 issue of the
journal Cancer Prevention Research shows that the answer may be a high-fiber diet. The research provides the cover image of this month's issue of the journal.
The study compared mice fed with of inositol hexaphosphate (IP6), a
major component of high-fiber diets, to control mice that were not. Then
the study used MRI to monitor the progression of prostate cancer in these models.
"The study's results were really rather profound. We saw dramatically reduced tumor
volumes, primarily due to the anti-angiogenic effects of IP6," says
Komal Raina, PhD, research instructor at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy
and Pharmaceutical Sciences, working in the lab of CU Cancer Center
investigator and School of Pharmacy faculty member, Rajesh Agarwal, PhD.
Basically, feeding with the active ingredient of a high-fiber diet kept
prostate tumors from making the new blood vessels they needed to supply
themselves with energy. Without this energy, prostate cancer couldn't
grow. Likewise, treatment with IP6 slowed the rate at which prostate
cancers metabolized glucose.
Possible mechanisms for the effect of IP6 against metabolism include a
reduction in a protein called GLUT-4, which is instrumental in
"Researchers have long been looking for genetic variations between Asian
and Western peoples that could explain the difference in prostate
cancer progression rates, but now it seems as if the difference may not
be genetic but dietary. Asian cultures get IP6 whereas Western cultures
generally do not,"