In a recent review entitled “Inflammatory Signaling Involved in High-Fat Diet Induced Prostate Diseases” researchers performed a retrospective search for studies on high-fat diet and the potential mechanisms underlying its association with an increased risk for benign prostate hyperplasia and prostate cancer. The study was published in the Journal of Urology and Research.
High-fat diet is an established factor that contributes to the increase of metabolic disorders, namely obesity and type II diabetes, in the western world. Particularly in the United States obesity was pointed as a major health risk with 40% of adults and 20% of children classified as obese according to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention.
High-fat diet and the accumulation of fat in men’s abdominal region is increasingly recognized not only to impact the risk for metabolic syndromes but also urological disorders, increasing the risk for urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) and potentially prostate cancer. However, the mechanisms by which high-fat diet and obesity promote these diseases are still poorly understood.
In this study researchers searched the digital repository platform called PubMed that archives an extensive collection of biomedical and life sciences journal literature, for published research with the key words “high fat diet” and “prostate,” in order to elucidate and summarize the current knowledge for high-fat diet and prostate diseases. The team confirmed that indeed high-fat diet increases the risk for BPH and prostate cancer, with oxidative stress and inflammation in the prostate gland as possible mechanisms underlying the transition from benign to malignant progression. More specifically, the published studies suggest that increased generation of reactive oxygen species (molecules containing oxygen, including peroxides, superoxide, hydroxyl radicals that are a usual byproduct of cells’ metabolism) enhances damage to the prostate. Additionally, high-fat diet increases the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (small proteins that are important in cell signaling) via two crucial signaling pathways responsible for cellular proliferation, survival and mechanisms of angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels), invasion and inflammation – the Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (STAT)-3 and Nuclear Factor-kappa B (NF-kB).
Based on these results the authors conclude there is an increased risk for benign prostate hyperplasia and prostate cancer associated with consumption of a high-fat diet, suggesting that promoting healthy and low-fat diets could work as a preventive measure for prostate diseases.