The Impact of Plant-Based Dietary Patterns on Cancer-Related Outcomes: A Rapid Review and Meta-Analysis
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AuthorMolina Montes, Esther; Salamanca Fernández, Elena; García Villanova Ruiz, Belén; Sanchez, Maria Jose
CancerMortalitySurvivalVeganVegetarianismMediterranean dietDiet qualityPlant-based food
Molina-Montes, E., Salamanca-Fernández, E., Garcia-Villanova, B., & Sánchez, M. J. (2020). The Impact of Plant-Based Dietary Patterns on Cancer-Related Outcomes: A Rapid Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients, 12(7), 2010. [doi:10.3390/nu12072010]
SponsorshipCIBER Epidemiologia y Salud Publica CIBERESP
Long-term cancer survivors represent a sizeable portion of the population. Plant-based foods may enhance the prevention of cancer-related outcomes in these patients. We aimed to synthesize the current evidence regarding the impact of plant-based dietary patterns (PBDPs) on cancer-related outcomes in the general population and in cancer survivors. Considered outcomes included overall cancer mortality, cancer-specific mortality, and cancer recurrence. A rapid review was conducted, whereby 2234 original articles related to the topic were identified via Pubmed/Medline. We selected 26 articles, which were classified into studies on PBDPs and cancer outcomes at pre-diagnosis: vegan/vegetarian diet (N = 5), provegetarian diet (N = 2), Mediterranean diet (N = 13), and studies considering the same at post-diagnosis (N = 6). Pooled estimates of the associations between the aforementioned PBDPs and the different cancer outcomes were obtained by applying random effects meta-analysis. The few studies available on the vegetarian diet failed to support its prevention potential against overall cancer mortality when compared with a non-vegetarian diet (e.g., pooled hazard ratio (HR) = 0.97; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.88–1.06). The insufficient number of studies evaluating provegetarian index scores in relation to cancer mortality did not permit a comprehensive assessment of this association. The association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and cancer mortality reached statistical significance (e.g., pooled HR = 0.84; 95% CI: 0.79–0.89). However, no study considered the influence of prognostic factors on the associations. In contrast, post-diagnostic studies accounted for prognostic factors when assessing the chemoprevention potential of PBDPs, but also were inconclusive due to the limited number of studies on well-defined plant-based diets. Thus, whether plant-based diets before or after a cancer diagnosis prevent negative cancer-related outcomes needs to be researched further, in order to define dietary guidelines for cancer survivors.