Sperling Prostate Center

Why The Easter Bunny Doesn’t Have Prostate Cancer

UPDATE: 3/21/2023
Originally published 4/13/2015

The good news we first posted about carrots in 2015 continues to pop up in published research. It appears that eating carrots not only reduces the risk of prostate cancer (PCa), but of other cancers as well.

While carrots are nutritionally rich, their primary health compound is carotene, which gives them their color. Carotene is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage.

Regarding PCa, a 2018 Korean study based on 652 men found that PCa risk decreased proportionately with greater carrot consumption (as well as eating tomatoes and sources of lycopene).[i]

A 2022 paper reports that moderate carrot consumption was linked with less risk of colorectal cancer.[ii]

Then, in the latest paper published at the beginning of 2023, Yi et al. (2023) hit a home run with their extensive literature review. They report: “Carrot intake was associated with a lower risk of multiple cancer outcomes including breast cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, gastric cancer, urothelial cancer and prostate cancer. Carotene intake was associated with a lower risk of fracture, age-related cataract, sunburn, Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, gastric cancer, esophageal cancer, prostate cancer and head and neck cancer (HNC). Serum carotene was inversely associated with all-cause mortality, breast cancer and lung cancer.”[iii]

Carrots provide a one-size-fits-all protective effect against so many disease conditions it’s practically mind-boggling!


As we observe the spring holidays, I have news that’s better than dyed hardboiled eggs or matzoh balls. It’s about carrots. This root vegetable is so pedestrian that it is overlooked in favor of trendier health foods such as baby kale, pomegranates or cruciferous vegetables. But a new study suggests that the humble snack favored by Bugs Bunny can protect against prostate cancer.

A team of researchers from Zhejiang University School of Medicine (Department of Urology) in Hangzhou, China conducted a thorough survey of published literature on the relationship between carrot consumption and the effect on prostate cancer risk.[iv] They identified 10 articles on the subject: 8 case-control and 2 cohort reports. This type of study is called a meta-analysis, meaning they amalgamated numbers from every available study and ran the statistics. This produces a broader and richer evidence base than any one study alone.

What they found is encouraging. For each 10-gram serving of carrots per week, the risk of developing prostate cancer was reduced by 5%. Overall, an 18% risk reduction was associated with increased consumption, and this was statistically significant.

Carrots are full of nutritious goodies. Most of us associate them with beta-carotene and vitamin A, which is associated with optical benefits. (I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up, carrots were pushed by Mom because they were “good for your eyes.”) But according to prostate cancer/nutrition expert Mark Moyad MD, it might be the other compounds in carrots that have a more positive effect on prostate health. Carrots have a high potassium concentration with minimal sodium, and they are a good source of fiber—especially if you don’t peel them—to help keep your digestive system in healthy shape to eliminate toxins. Perhaps most importantly, they have one of the highest concentrations of salicylates (natural aspirin) of any food or beverage. Remember that chronic prostate inflammation is associated with the onset of prostate cancer, so carrots as a natural anti-inflammatory are one of your best food friends.

Consider adding raw carrots to your list of snack foods, and try some recipes for soups, muffins and even cake that capitalize on carrots. I’ll go so far as to put in a plug for choosing organic carrots, which are readily available and a good bargain for the price. Celebrate spring with good health.


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] Van Hoang D, Pham NM, Lee AH, Tran DN, Binns CW. Dietary Carotenoid Intakes and Prostate Cancer Risk: A Case Control Study from Vietnam. Nutrients. 2018 Jan 11;10(1):70.
[ii] iJiang Z, Chen H, Li M, Wang W, Fan C, Long F. Association of Dietary Carrot/Carotene Intakes With Colorectal Cancer Incidence and Mortality in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Front Nutr. 2022 Jun 17;9:888898.
[iii] Yi X, Li J, Liao D, Peng G, Zheng X, Xu H, Zhang T, Ai J. Carrot and carotene and multiple health outcomes: An umbrella review of the evidence. J Sci Food Agric. 2023 Jan 4.
[iv] Xu x, cheng y,li s et al. Dietary carrot consumption and the risk of prostate cancer. Eur J Nutr. 2014 Dec;53(8):1615-23.


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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