It is impossible to avoid illness altogether, but you could adopt better eating habits now if you wanted to protect your health in the future. When it comes to developing prostate cancer, for instance, research shows that eating healthy and exercising could reduce your risk. Even if your doctor has already diagnosed you, these findings offer some hope of steps you could take to slow the progression of the disease.
New research indicates that exposure to chemicals called PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances), which are found in nonstick cookware and plastic food containers, could make prostate cancer grow up to three times faster than cells that have not been exposed to PFAS.
The study, released in the journal Nutrients, looked at the progression of the disease in mice that were exposed to PFAS, as well as mice that were not. Researchers discovered that the disease developed the quickest in mice that were exposed to PFAS and were fed a high-fat diet. This diet that was meant to mimic the Western diet actually multiplied these chemicals’ harmful effects.
“Over 99% of the U.S. population already has PFAS circulating within their bodies,” said study author Zeynep Madak-Erdogan. “However, some individuals have higher amounts in their system than the normal population does because of living in areas that have contaminated water, occupational exposure, or consuming more fast food or food that is contaminated with PFAS. If they’re also on a higher fat diet like the Western diet—they’re more likely to suffer from the more aggressive kinds of prostate cancers.”
If you want to change up your diet to avoid this risk, one alternative to the normal Western-style diet is the Mediterranean diet, which also has the added benefit of being connected with a wide range of health benefits, such as boosting cognitive function, reducing your chances of developing depression, and even enhancing erectile performance.
Another diet you could change to is the “Prudent” diet. It features similar foods that are in the Mediterranean diet — fruit, legumes, poultry, fish, vegetables, and whole grains—and is connected with a longer lifespan and a reduced risk of dying from heart disease.
“There are problems that have been connected to PFAS exposures such as liver damage, various cancers, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, diabetes, asthma, immune system dysfunction, decreased fertility, low birth weight, as well as some effects on children’s neuro and cognitive behavioral development,” explained Robert Gould, MD.
Gould also noted that the best way you can protect individuals from these dangerous effects is by changing policies, adding that the Green Science Policy Institute offers suggestions for how you could personally stay away from these chemicals. To begin with, Gould suggests avoiding nonstick dishes and takeout food that is packaged in plastic or plastic-lined containers.
Author: Scott Dowdy