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Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica 2007 March;59(1):59-66


language: English

Mediterranean diet, monounsaturated: saturated fat ratio and low prostate cancer risk. A myth or a reality?

Stamatiou K. 1, 2, Delakas D. 3, Sofras F. 1

1 Department of Urology School of Medicine University of Crete, Crete, Greece 2 Department of Urology General Hospital of Thebes, Thebes, Greece 3 Department of Urology Asklepeion General Hospital, Voula, Greece


Although the specific causes of prostate cancer initiation and progression are not yet known, evidence of a higher clinical incidence and mortality rates in Western societies than in Asian countries suggests that genetical, environmental and behavioural factors (such as diet) play an important role in the evolution of this disease. The nutritional etiology of prostate cancer has been evaluated in a large number of epidemiological studies and since traditional Asian diet is low in fatty components, it is not therefore surprising that dietary fat has been associated with prostate cancer risk in many of them. Experimental studies on the relationship between dietary patterns and increased prostate cancer risk supported further the idea that the risk of prostate cancer is increased as intake of fat rises. On the other hand, recent autopsy studies in Greece and Spain demonstrated that the incidence of histological prostate cancer in those Mediterranean Caucasian male populations is significantly lower than that of the other Caucasian males, while, epidemiological studies have reported a significant degree of adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern for Greek and Spanish males. Traditio-nal Mediterranean dietary pattern has a relatively lower consumption of fat which consistency is characterized by a much higher monounsaturated:saturated fat ratio than in other places of the world. The purpose of the current article is to focus on the fatty components of the Mediterranean diet and elucidate their association with prostate cancer risk.

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