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

Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Granada, 18014 Granada, Spain
Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INYTA) ‘José Mataix’, Biomedical Research Centre, University of Granada, Avenida del Conocimiento s/n, E-18071 Granada, Spain
Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria ibs.GRANADA, 18012 Granada, Spain
CIBER of Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), 28029 Madrid, Spain
Andalusian School of Public Health (EASP), 18014 Granada, Spain
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;
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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