Red Wine and Red Grapes

The Red Wine Diet

The Red Wine Diet

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There are suggestions that red wine and red grapes may provide some protection against prostate cancer. A study conducted in Seattle compared 753 men with prostate cancer to 703 matched controls. In an extensive dietary survey, the controls were found to have consumed more red wine but not white wine, beer, or liquor. For each glass of red wine consumed per week, there was a 6 percent reduction in risk for prostate cancer. According to the researchers, ''consumption of 8 glasses or more of red wine per week significantly reduced the relative risk of more aggressive prostate cancer by 61%.''5 Like soy, red wine contains flavonoids that may exert an anticancer effect through their estrogen-like properties. Red grapes contain resvera-trol, a compound closely related to flavonoids that also has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These studies should be confirmed before men make major changes in their alcohol intake.

Michael Milken's Diet

Michael Milken was a prominent Wall Street financier who was imprisoned for securities fraud in the 1980s. After his release, he was diagnosed in 1993 with prostate cancer that had spread to his lymph nodes. He had hormone therapy and radiation, and began a strict diet—extremely low fat and containing large quantities of soy, tofu, green tea, antioxidants, and vitamin E. According to one account: ''A typical lunch, prepared by his private dietitian, consists of mushroom barley soup, a tofu egg-salad sandwich (the 'egg' is actually tofu with mustard and spices) with carrots and lettuce, and a black-bean-and-corn salad with a soy-based drink. One of Milken's favorites, an Egg McNothing, consists of a fat-free crumpet with soy cheese, vegetarian Canadian bacon and scrambled egg whites.'' Milken and his chef have even published The Taste of Living Cookbook, specifically for men with prostate cancer.

In addition to his diet, Milken uses meditation, yoga, sesame-oil massages, and aromatherapy to stimulate his immune system. Twelve years after being diagnosed, Milken continues to work and do well. Few men, however, would be willing to follow such a diet and regimen, and almost none have their own personal dietitian and chef.

—Leon Jaroff, ''The man's cancer,'' Time, April 1, 1996


A single study of 1,294 men with prostate cancer and 1,451 men without cancer reported that the controls had consumed significantly more vegetable, but not fruit or cereal, fiber.6 Dietary fiber has been identified as a possible protective factor for other forms of cancer, specifically colon, breast, and ovarian.

Vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, broccoli, kale, and brussels sprouts were linked to the prevention of prostate cancer in one study.7

The effectiveness of dietary approaches in preventing the emergence or recurrence of prostate cancer is still to be determined. Each man has to decide what trade-offs he is willing to make, weighing the importance of giving up foods he really likes and eating more of some foods he does not like. What for one man is a sensible, healthy diet may for another man be dietary masochism.

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