Prostate Cancer Survival: The A/V Ratio

Prostate Cancer Survival: The A/V Ratio
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Reducing the ratio of animal to plant protein in men’s diets may slow the progression of prostate cancer.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

It is now eight years since the famous Ornish study was published, suggesting that 12 months on a strictly plant-based diet could reverse the progression of prostate cancer.

Wait a second. How were they able to get a group of older men to go vegan for a year? They home-delivered prepared meals to their door, figuring men are so lazy they’ll just eat whatever is put in front of them.

But, what about out in the real world? Realizing that you can’t even get most men with cancer to eat a measly five servings of fruits and veggies, researchers settled on just trying to change their A/V ratio (the “ratio of animal to vegetable proteins”), and, indeed, were successful in cutting this ratio in half at least—from about two to one, animal to plant, to kinda half-vegan, one to one.

How’d they do? Looks like their cancer was slowed down. “The average PSA doubling time [an estimate of how fast the tumor may be doubling in size]…in the [half-vegan group] slowed from 21 months…to 58 months…” So, the cancer kept growing, but with a part-time plant-based diet, they appeared to be able to slow down the tumor’s expansion. What Ornish got, though, was an apparent reversal in cancer growth. The PSA didn’t just rise slower, it trended down—which could be an indication of tumor shrinkage. So, the ideal A/V ratio may be closer to zero.

If there’s just no way grandpa’s going vegan, and we just have half-measures, what might be the worst A, and the best V? Eggs and poultry may be the worst—respectively doubling, and potentially quadrupling, the risk of cancer progression in this study, out of Harvard. Twice the risk, eating less than a single egg a day; quadruple the risk, eating less than a single serving of chicken or turkey.

And, if you could only add one thing to your diet? Cruciferous vegetables. Less than a single serving a day of either broccoli or Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, or kale may cut the risk of cancer progression more than half—defined as cancer coming back, spreading to the bone, or death.

This animal-to-plant ratio might be useful for cancer prevention, as well. For example, in the largest study ever performed on diet and bladder cancer, just a 3% increase in the consumption of animal protein was associated with a 15% higher risk of bladder cancer, whereas a 2% increase in plant protein intake was associated with a 23% lower risk. Even little changes in our diets can have significant effects.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to ccPixs.com, Mike Saechang, and Farmanac via flickr. Thanks to Ellen Reid for her keynote help.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

It is now eight years since the famous Ornish study was published, suggesting that 12 months on a strictly plant-based diet could reverse the progression of prostate cancer.

Wait a second. How were they able to get a group of older men to go vegan for a year? They home-delivered prepared meals to their door, figuring men are so lazy they’ll just eat whatever is put in front of them.

But, what about out in the real world? Realizing that you can’t even get most men with cancer to eat a measly five servings of fruits and veggies, researchers settled on just trying to change their A/V ratio (the “ratio of animal to vegetable proteins”), and, indeed, were successful in cutting this ratio in half at least—from about two to one, animal to plant, to kinda half-vegan, one to one.

How’d they do? Looks like their cancer was slowed down. “The average PSA doubling time [an estimate of how fast the tumor may be doubling in size]…in the [half-vegan group] slowed from 21 months…to 58 months…” So, the cancer kept growing, but with a part-time plant-based diet, they appeared to be able to slow down the tumor’s expansion. What Ornish got, though, was an apparent reversal in cancer growth. The PSA didn’t just rise slower, it trended down—which could be an indication of tumor shrinkage. So, the ideal A/V ratio may be closer to zero.

If there’s just no way grandpa’s going vegan, and we just have half-measures, what might be the worst A, and the best V? Eggs and poultry may be the worst—respectively doubling, and potentially quadrupling, the risk of cancer progression in this study, out of Harvard. Twice the risk, eating less than a single egg a day; quadruple the risk, eating less than a single serving of chicken or turkey.

And, if you could only add one thing to your diet? Cruciferous vegetables. Less than a single serving a day of either broccoli or Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, or kale may cut the risk of cancer progression more than half—defined as cancer coming back, spreading to the bone, or death.

This animal-to-plant ratio might be useful for cancer prevention, as well. For example, in the largest study ever performed on diet and bladder cancer, just a 3% increase in the consumption of animal protein was associated with a 15% higher risk of bladder cancer, whereas a 2% increase in plant protein intake was associated with a 23% lower risk. Even little changes in our diets can have significant effects.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to ccPixs.com, Mike Saechang, and Farmanac via flickr. Thanks to Ellen Reid for her keynote help.

Doctor's Note

For those unfamiliar with that landmark Ornish study, see Cancer Reversal through Diet?, which the Pritikin Foundation followed up on with Ex Vivo Cancer Proliferation Bioassay

What else might help men with prostate cancer? See Flax Seeds vs. Prostate Cancer and Saturated Fat & Cancer Progression. What about preventing it in the first place? See:

 Poultry and eggs may be related to cancer risk in a variety of ways:

Crucifers may also help with other cancers. See:

I’m going to highlight it in the next video Breast Cancer Survival Vegetable

Update: In 2017, I released two important videos on prostate cancer. Treating Advanced Prostate Cancer with Diet Part 1 and Part 2

For more context, check out my associated blog post: Cancer & the Animal-to-Plant Protein Ratio.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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