What is the role of dietary supplements in prostate cancer risk-reduction?

Updated: Oct 11, 2019
  • Author: Mark A Moyad, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Answer

All of the dietary nutrients that may reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer are readily available. Whether substituting or adding dietary supplements is advantageous continues to be investigated. The general consensus is that any nutrient that is contained in food is better than an dietary supplement. In addition, several dietary supplements that are marketed as antioxidents have the potential, if used in excess, to increase the risk and/or progression of prostate cancer. [6, 31, 42, 43] No high-quality study has shown that any supplement can significantly reduce the risk for, or progression of, prostate cancer.

However, quantifying the amount of these nutrients in serum and tissues has been difficult. Therefore, the necessary amount of a given supplement is unknown. Conflicting reports that are confusing to the public and to physicians frequently appear in the media. Differences in study populations, methodology, and interpretation of data complicate the comparison of studies.


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