Reasonable dieting has a range of health benefits, including weight loss, but scientists believe men who limit their carbohydrate intake may also experience a slower growth of prostate tumors.
A team from the Duke Prostate Center conducted animal studies which found that insulin and an insulin-like growth factor contribute to the growth and proliferation of prostate cancer, and that a low-carb diet decreases insulin levels, producing an opposite effect.
Dr. Stephen Freedland, a urologist at the center and lead investigator on the study, says the results are "very exciting," offering doctors a potential new tool to fight prostate cancer growth and extend patient’s life expectancy.
There are plans currently underway to recruit humans for a clinical trial.
The work of the Duke team is only the latest contribution to the growing body of evidence which links dietary factors to prostate cancer outcomes.
For example, doctors have also recommended a vegetable-rich diet and pomegranate juice which studies have shown may lower the risk of prostate cancer due to their antioxidant power.
Meanwhile, other research has uncovered the beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids, while the association between lower cholesterol levels and prostate cancer inhibition suggests some may also benefit from cholesterol-fighting natural remedies such as niacin supplements, fish oil and red yeast rice extract.