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Keywords:

  • Fish;
  • Isoflavones;
  • Prostate cancer;
  • Red meat;
  • Soybean products

Abstract

The traditional Japanese diet has been suggested by some researchers to be associated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer (PCa). In this paper, we assumed the following three characteristics of the traditional Japanese diet high in soybean products, high in fish, and low in red meat. Isoflavones, polyunsaturated long chain (n – 3) fatty acids, and saturated fatty acids were thought to be micronutrients in biological etiology relevant to soybean products, fish, and red meat, respectively. Analytical epidemiological studies on the risk of PCa were identified using the MEDLINE database from 1998 to 2007. Some published studies showed a negative association of soybean products and isoflavones to PCa risk, an inverse association for fish or polyunsaturated long chain (n – 3) fatty acids such as eicosapentaenic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) with PCa risk, and a positive association of red meat or saturated fatty acids with PCa risk, respectively. In conclusion, although it is possible that the traditional Japanese diet may reduce the risk of PCa through a combination of characteristics such as being high in soybean products, high in fish, and low in red meat, further well-designed epidemiological studies such as nested case-control studies with nutritional analyses of blood samples are needed to confirm this association.