Nutritional factors may influence the risk of developing prostate cancer, but understanding of this topic is poor. This chapter discusses research on this subject, mostly from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), a cohort which includes 150,000 men recruited in the 1990s in eight European countries. So far the EPIC collaborators have published analyses of the relationship of prostate cancer risk with the intake of a range of foods and nutrients, and with blood-based markers of nutritional factors, on up to nearly 3,000 incident cases of prostate cancer. Most of the results of these analyses have been null, with no clear indication that the risk for prostate cancer is related to intakes of meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, fibre, fat or alcohol or with blood levels of fatty acids, carotenoids, tocopherols, B vitamins, vitamin D, or selenium. There is some evidence from EPIC that risk may be increased in men with a high intake of protein from dairy products, and analyses of hormone levels have shown that risk is higher in men with relatively high blood levels of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I). More research is needed to better describe the relationships of prostate cancer risk with IGF-I and related hormones, and to better understand whether nutritional factors may influence risk through hormones or perhaps by other mechanisms.

Original publication




Journal article


Recent Results Cancer Res

Publication Date





39 - 46


Diet, Dietary Fats, Dietary Fiber, Europe, Fish Oils, Food Habits, Fruit, Humans, Insulin-Like Growth Factor I, Male, Prospective Studies, Prostatic Neoplasms, Risk Factors, Vegetables