A new, long-term, Swedish study shows that zinc is invaluable for men with prostate cancer. Researchers found, especially with early prostate cancer, that if men get enough zinc in their diets, they are more likely to die from other causes than from their prostate cancer.
The study was conducted on 525 Swedes under the age of 80, who had just been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Some of these men had tumors that were localized; in others the cancer was more widespread.
Men were asked to join the study as early as January 1989 and as late as July 1994. When the study’s results were analyzed in 2010, some of the men had been followed for 20 years, and the average was 6.4 years.
Each participant was given a questionnaire, which included 68 common foods eaten by Swedes. The men identified how often they ate the foods, and the scientists determined how much zinc was in their diet. None of the men were taking zinc supplements.
At the study’s conclusion:
• 218 men (42%) died of prostate cancer
• 257 men (49%) died of other causes
• 50 men were still alive
Among all cases of prostate cancer, patients whose diets included the highest amounts of zinc were 36% less likely to die from prostate cancer than those ingesting the least amount of zinc.