Author(s): Kolonel LN, Nomura AM, Cooney RV
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Abstract Efforts to elucidate the causes of prostate cancer have met with little success to date. All that is known with certainty is that the incidence increases exponentially with age, varies by geography and by race or ethnicity, and is higher among men whose father or brother had the disease. Because the incidence changes in migrants and their offspring, exogenous factors certainly contribute to the risk of prostate cancer. Early epidemiologic studies implicated dietary fat as a likely causal factor for this cancer. However, scientific support for such an association has diminished in recent years as more epidemiologic evidence has accrued. Accordingly, we reviewed the relevant English language literature on this topic, including epidemiologic and animal studies, as well as current concepts regarding the involvement of fat in carcinogenesis to re-examine the fat-prostate cancer hypothesis. We conclude that dietary fat may indeed be related to prostate cancer risk, although the specific fat components that are responsible are not yet clear. Given the diverse effects of fatty acids on cellular biology and chemistry, it seems likely that the relationship is complex, involving the interplay of fat with other dietary factors, such as antioxidant vitamins and minerals, or with genetic factors that influence susceptibility. Some suggestions for further research are offered.
This article was published in J Natl Cancer Inst
and referenced in Journal of Pharmacognosy & Natural Products