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Men with early-stage prostate cancer may be able to inhibit tumor growth and progression by following a high-fiber diet, according to recent study results. 

The research focused on inositol hexaphosphate (IP6), a major constituent of high-fiber diets. Prostate cancer occurs at similar rates in Asian and in Western cultures, yet tends to progress in the latter but not in the former. Asian diets are high in IP6, whereas Western culture diets generally are not, explained study coauthor Komal Raina, PhD, of the University of Colorado Cancer Center in Aurora, Colorado, in a statement issued by the facility.

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Raina’s team fed mice with transgenic adenocarcinoma of the prostate with 1%, 2%, or 4% IP6 in drinking water from age 4 weeks until age 28 weeks. Control mice received plain water.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed a profound reduction in tumor size among the mice in the IP6 group, wrote Raina and colleagues in Cancer Prevention Research (2013;6[1]:40-50). IP6 also significantly decreased membrane phospholipid synthesis and glucose metabolism. 

“The study’s results were really rather profound,” Raina emphasized. “We saw dramatically reduced tumor volumes, primarily due to the antiangiogenic effects of IP6.”

Raina’s team concluded that oral IP6 supplement blocks growth and angiogenesis of prostate cancer in transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate in conjunction with metabolic events involved in tumor sustenance. This results in energy deprivation within the tumor, suggesting that IP6 has the potential to suppress growth and progression of human prostate cancer. ■