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The Impact of Plant-Based Dietary Patterns on Cancer-Related Outcomes: A Rapid Review and Meta-Analysis

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Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Granada, 18014 Granada, Spain
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Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INYTA) ‘José Mataix’, Biomedical Research Centre, University of Granada, Avenida del Conocimiento s/n, E-18071 Granada, Spain
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Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria ibs.GRANADA, 18012 Granada, Spain
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CIBER of Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), 28029 Madrid, Spain
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Andalusian School of Public Health (EASP), 18014 Granada, Spain
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Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Granada, 18016 Granada, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2010; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072010
Received: 10 June 2020 / Revised: 28 June 2020 / Accepted: 2 July 2020 / Published: 6 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet Quality and Human Health)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: cancer; mortality; survival; vegan; vegetarian; Mediterranean diet; diet quality; plant-based food cancer; mortality; survival; vegan; vegetarian; Mediterranean diet; diet quality; plant-based food
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Molina-Montes, E.; Salamanca-Fernández, E.; Garcia-Villanova, B.; Sánchez, M.J. The Impact of Plant-Based Dietary Patterns on Cancer-Related Outcomes: A Rapid Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2010.

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