Across the nation researchers continue to look for foods (or the substances within them) that can help lower prostate cancer risk. To date scientists have found that some of the substances in tomatoes (lycopenes) and soybeans (isoflavones) might help prevent prostate cancer. New studies are now taking a closer look at the possible effects of these compounds.
Some scientists are also trying to develop related compounds that are even more potent and might be used as dietary supplements. Most of the current research suggests that a balanced diet including these foods as well as other fruits and vegetables is probably more beneficial than taking these substances as dietary supplements.
Vitamin D may prove to be an important in preventative. Some studies have found that men with high levels of vitamin D seem to have a lower risk of developing the more lethal forms of prostate cancer. However, studies have not proved conclusively that vitamin D protects against prostate cancer.
People often assume that vitamins and other natural substances are completely safe to take, but recent research has shown that high doses of some may be harmful, including those in supplements marketed specifically for prostate cancer. For example, one study found that men who take more than 7 multivitamin tablets per week may have an increased risk of developing advanced prostate cancer. Another study showed a higher risk of prostate cancer in men who had high blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil capsules, which some people take to help with their heart, contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
Some research has suggested that men who take a daily aspirin for a long time might have a lower risk of getting and dying from prostate cancer. Still, more research is needed to confirm this, and to confirm that any benefit outweighs potential risks, such as bleeding.
Scientists have also tested certain hormonal medicines called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors as a way of reducing prostate cancer risk. Studies like all of these mentioned here could prove to be very beneficial for men in the future.