Diet and lifestyle considerations for patients with prostate cancer

Kyle B. Zuniga, June M. Chan, Charles J. Ryan, Stacey A. Kenfield

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose: To review the literature and provide recommendations on diet and lifestyle considerations in patients with prostate cancer using evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with additional considerations based on observational evidence. Materials and methods: We initiated our search on combining the term “prostate cancer” with a variety of diet and lifestyle factors. We then supplemented our summary of publications from registered trials by including other publications available on Pubmed. Results: There is a well-established benefit of exercise for improving functional outcomes and pelvic floor muscle training for improving treatment-related adverse effects. Multimodality interventions that integrate several factors (e.g., low-saturated fat, plant-based, whole-food diets with exercise, and stress reduction) appear to have the most clinically significant benefit for patients with prostate cancer. Ongoing multimodality interventions are including the efficacy of implementation strategies as observed outcomes. Limited RCT evidence suggests a clinically significant benefit for guided imagery/progressive muscle relaxation, Pilates, and lycopene-rich diets and a modest benefit for green tea, qigong, massage, and avoidance of nonprescribed vitamin and mineral supplements. Observational and single arm trial evidence indicates a need for further exploration of acupuncture, coffee, cruciferous vegetables, fish, Larrea tridentata, mushrooms, and vegetable-derived fats and avoidance of eggs, dairy, poultry with skin, processed red meat, and saturated fat. Published trials suggest no benefit from hypnosis, milk thistle, pomegranate, soy, or omega-3 fatty acid supplementation. Conclusions: Our search demonstrated that most diet and lifestyle factors identified from observational studies have limited data from RCTs. Few items have shown early evidence of benefit. The best recommendation for patients with prostate cancer is to form a habit of wellness through healthy eating, aerobic and resistance exercise, and psychological well-being. Future trial development should consider how interventions can be implemented into real world practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-117
Number of pages13
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by funding from the National Cancer Institute ( R01CA207749 ), the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health ( T32AT003997 ), the Steven & Christine Burd-Safeway Distinguished Professorship, and the Helen Diller Family Chair in Population Science for Urologic Cancer.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc.


  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Exercise
  • Integrative Medicine
  • Life Style
  • Prostatic neoplasms

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review


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