Dietary antioxidants and prostate cancer: a review

Nutr Cancer. 2013;65(6):793-801. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2013.806672.


Prostate cancer is the most common noncutaneous cancer in men in the United States. Several studies have examined the relationship between prostate cancer and antioxidants; however, the results of these studies are inconsistent. This article provides a systematic review of studies on prostate cancer and antioxidant intake from diet and supplements. Tea and coffee appear to offer protection against advanced prostate cancer. Different forms of vitamin E appear to exert different effects on prostate cancer, with alpha-tocopherol potentially increasing and gamma-tocopherol potentially decreasing risk of the disease. There is no strong evidence for a beneficial effect of selenium, vitamin C, or beta-carotene, whereas lycopene appears to be negatively associated with risk of the disease. The effect of dietary antioxidants on prostate cancer remains undefined and inconclusive, with different antioxidants affecting prostate cancer risk differentially. Further studies are needed to clarify the relationship between antioxidants and prostate cancer risk and to delineate the underlying mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Carotenoids / administration & dosage
  • Coffee / chemistry
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Humans
  • Lycopene
  • Male
  • Polyphenols / administration & dosage
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Selenium / administration & dosage
  • Tea / chemistry
  • United States / epidemiology
  • alpha-Tocopherol / administration & dosage
  • beta Carotene / administration & dosage
  • gamma-Tocopherol / administration & dosage


  • Antioxidants
  • Coffee
  • Polyphenols
  • Tea
  • beta Carotene
  • Carotenoids
  • gamma-Tocopherol
  • alpha-Tocopherol
  • Selenium
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Lycopene