Eating legumes to reduce prostate cancer risk

After 10 years of research, here’s what we know about eating legumes — lentils; split, chick, and black-eyed peas; kidney, navy, and black beans — and the risk of prostate cancer.

Let’s start with the latest results from researchers at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.

First, the details.

  • 82,483 men who completed a food frequency questionnaire were included in the study.
  • 4,404 prostate cancer cases including 1,278 nonlocalized or high-grade cases (the most deadly form) were recorded over the next 8 years.

And, the results.

  • Men with the highest intake of legumes had a significant 11% reduction in the risk of getting prostate cancer.
  • There was also a significant 26% lower risk for nonlocalized or high-grade cancer compared to men with the lowest intake.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “Legume intake is associated with a moderate reduction in prostate cancer risk.”

Others have come to similar conclusions here and here.

But a study published in 2007 reported that among more than 9,000 men in Puerto Rico there was “no association between legumes or protein intake and prostate cancer mortality.”

So, would ya like some chickpeas with your burger?

8/3/08 20:36 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.