Sperling Prostate Center

One Small Diet for You, One Giant Leap for Your Longevity!

Six years ago, I launched occasional blogs about the Mediterranean diet in relation to prostate health. I was about to give myself a pat on the back for including this in our men’s health blog topics, but as life would have it, I’ve been topped by a 2023 journal article. I applaud a multinational, multidisciplinary research team for making an extraordinary point about that diet. Karam, et al. (2023) did an incredible job of comparing seven popular dietary programs for cardiovascular health, and guess which one came out on top? The Mediterranean diet, of course.

Their objective was to look at the impact of diet on all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and specific cardiovascular events (stroke, non-fatal myocardial infarction, and unplanned cardiovascular interventions.)[i] To gather data for analysis, they identified 40 published trials (35,548 total participants at risk of cardiovascular disease) covering seven clinical trial dietary intervention programs that were structured and included counseling: low fat, Mediterranean, very low fat, modified fat, combined low fat + low sodium, Ornish, and Pritikin; in addition, for comparison purposes they included minimal intervention (usual diet or no advice, usual care by own physician).

Their study method was thorough and meticulous. Their key finding was reported by News Medical:

Based on moderate certainty evidence, Mediterranean dietary programs were better than minimal intervention at preventing all-cause mortality (17 fewer deaths per 1000 over five years), non-fatal heart attack (17 fewer per 1000) and stroke (7 fewer per 1000) for patients at intermediate risk of cardiovascular disease.[ii]

While the Karam research was designed specifically around people at higher cardiovascular risk, it has great merit for those with few to no risk factors for heart disease or stroke. That’s because the typical Western diet (red meat, refined/processed foods, high percentage of saturated fats) has a sneaky cumulative effect over a lifetime that gradually increases heart risks as people age. Healthy eating, on the other hand, is a lifetime investment in preserving youthful attributes and aging well.

The characteristics of the Mediterranean diet are elegantly simple: Increased fish, fruit, and vegetable intake; increased intake of monounsaturated fats (eg, olive oil). These are nutritional principles that support heart and circulation wellness. In addition, the Mediterranean diet helps prevent inflammation, a known correlate of cancer. Thus, at our Sperling Prostate Center, we have a saying that if it’s good for the heart, it’s good for the prostate.

As much as I take pride in having promoted the Mediterranean diet for prostate health, I was excited to come across the Karam paper because their rigorous, integrative examination of published papers goes beyond individual studies. They have amassed a body of evidence in favor of Mediterranean-style meal plans. If you value you heart as well as your prostate, look to the culinary crafts of the countries and cultures that ring the Mediterranean Sea. Enjoy the yum as your help keep the youthful strength of your heart.

NOTE: This content is solely for purposes of information and does not substitute for diagnostic or medical advice. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing pelvic pain, or have any other health concerns or questions of a personal medical nature.

[i] Karam G, Agarwal A, Sadeghirad B, Jalink M et al. Comparison of seven popular structured dietary programmes and risk of mortality and major cardiovascular events in patients at increased cardiovascular risk: systematic review and network meta-analysis. BMJ. 2023 Mar 29;380:e072003.
[ii] “Mediterranean and low-fat diets reduce the odds of mortality, heart attack in people at increased cardiovascular risk.” Mar. 30, 2023. https://www.news-medical.net/news/20230330/Mediterranean-and-low-fat-diets-reduce-the-odds-of-mortality-heart-attack-in-people-at-increased-cardiovascular-risk.aspx


About Dr. Dan Sperling

Dan Sperling, MD, DABR, is a board certified radiologist who is globally recognized as a leader in multiparametric MRI for the detection and diagnosis of a range of disease conditions. As Medical Director of the Sperling Prostate Center, Sperling Medical Group and Sperling Neurosurgery Associates, he and his team are on the leading edge of significant change in medical practice. He is the co-author of the new patient book Redefining Prostate Cancer, and is a contributing author on over 25 published studies. For more information, contact the Sperling Prostate Center.

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