Systematic review of the impact of a plant-based diet on prostate cancer incidence and outcomes

Natasha Gupta*, Hiten D. Patel, Jacob Taylor, James F. Borin, Kenneth Jacobsohn, Stacey A. Kenfield, Scott E. Eggener, Carrie Price, Meena Davuluri, Nataliya Byrne, Trinity J. Bivalacqua, Stacy Loeb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Plant-based diets are increasingly popular and have many well-established benefits for health and environmental sustainability. Our objective was to perform a systematic review of plant-based diets and prostate cancer. Methods: We performed a systematic database and citation search in February 2022. Studies were included if they reported primary data on plant-based dietary patterns (i.e., vegan, vegetarian, plant-based) and incidence among at-risk men for prostate cancer, or oncologic, general health/nutrition, or quality of life outcomes among patients with prostate cancer or caregivers. Results: A total of 32 publications were eligible for the qualitative synthesis, representing 5 interventional and 11 observational studies. Interventional studies primarily focused on lifestyle modification including plant-based diets for men on active surveillance for localized prostate cancer or with biochemical recurrence after treatment, showing improvements in short-term oncologic outcomes alongside improvements in general health and nutrition. Observational studies primarily focused on prostate cancer risk, showing either protective or null associations for plant-based dietary patterns. Studies of the vegan diet consistently showed favorable associations with risk and/or outcomes. Gaps in the current literature include impact for long-term disease-specific outcomes. Conclusions: Interventional studies showed generally favorable results of lifestyle modifications incorporating a plant-based diet with prostate cancer outcomes as well as improvements in nutrition and general health. Observational studies demonstrated either a lower risk of prostate cancer or no significant difference. These results are encouraging in light of the many benefits of plant-based diets for overall health, as well as environmental sustainability and animal welfare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)444-452
Number of pages9
JournalProstate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology
  • Cancer Research


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