How a Plant Based Diet Helped Decrease My Dad’s PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) Level

how-a-plant-based-diet-helped-decrease-my-dads-psa-prostate-specific-antigen-level

Last year, my dad’s PSA number was on the rise. PSA, in this context, means prostate-specific antigen. Doctors use PSA numbers primarily to screen for prostate cancer. High levels of PSA might indicate prostate cancer, but not always.

My dad’s PSA climbed incrementally for a year until it reached 7 back in July of 2021 (PSA levels of 4 or below are considered normal).

When it reached 7, my dad’s urologist gave him two choices:

  1. Schedule a biopsy.
  2. Wait three months to see if his PSA went down, and schedule a biopsy at that point if it did not go down.

My dad chose to wait three months. 

At that point, I went to Dr. Michael Greger’s website and watched every video I could find on PSA and prostate cancer. Not surprisingly, a whole food plant based dietary pattern seems excellent for prostate health, especially when incorporating more of certain plant foods into the diet, like tomatoes and green tea, to name a couple.  

My mom and I talked with my dad and asked if he wanted to tighten up his way of eating. He was already eating about 90% vegan, but not necessarily whole food plant based. He was all for it and knew he had three months to get some positive results.

I looked at the research and made a plan based on what would work for him to support lowering his PSA levels.

For example, I knew green tea supported prostate health, but my dad is not a tea drinker, so I asked him if he would be willing to add some green tea powder to his morning smoothies. He said no problem.

I asked if he could eat some tomatoes every day. He didn’t love the idea, so instead, he committed to drinking organic low-sodium tomato juice every day. After tailoring the plan to his likes and needs, I presented him with the PPP, the Patrick Prostate Plan

With mom’s and my help, dad followed the plan. His following appointment in October 2021 showed his PSA had decreased to 6.7.

With this decrease, his doctor decided to wait on any more tests, scans, or biopsies and wanted to see him again in six months. My dad was committed to the snazzy Patrick Prostate Plan, especially now that his PSA number was improving. 

My dad had his six-month follow-up in April 2022, and his PSA has decreased to 6.2!

My mom and I gave him a high five, and then his doctor asked what he was doing to lower his number. We explained the plan, and I gave him the name of Dr. Greger’s website.

This was when the doctor started to lecture us about the dangers of soy.

We listened as I did my best not to roll my eyeballs to the back of my actual brain 🙄 or plant my palm directly onto my face. Once he was done with his lecture, I politely encouraged him to spend some time on Dr. Greger’s website, and then I asked what he recommended for my dad, seeing as how his PSA continues to get lower. He told us he wouldn’t need to see him again for another year, given the steady decrease. We asked that he be rechecked in six months to stay on top of it. 

Now, I do not believe that eating plants is a miracle cure for everything. I am all for western medicine, and I am fully vaccinated. I would like to think I have a balanced perspective, and I’m always open to being wrong. I also respect people who think and act differently than me.  

Will my dad’s PSA levels continue to decrease or stay the same if he continues the plan? I have no idea. 

Based on the past nine months, it seems likely, but the body is complicated, and shit can happen. 

Will this work for everyone? Who knows. It might. It might not. 

But here’s the rub. 

If someone is willing to change what they eat and incorporate more protective foods into their diet, I don’t see a reason not to try it.  

And if their condition improves, then it is cause for some damn celebration 🎉, not a lecture on a fucking bean 🌱. 

Especially when that bean has been a staple for one of the longest living and healthiest populations on the planet for centuries. 

I am not a doctor or a nutritionist, and I am not prescribing anything. If you’re curious about what my dad has been doing to help lower his PSA levels, the plan I made for him is below. This was the actual plan I wrote for my parents, so you will see it’s personalized.  Note that he no longer drinks alcohol, so there was no need to include cutting back or quitting in the plan.

PPP – Patrick Prostate Plan

Stick to eating whole plant foods

Eat the plant based food mom cooks.

Smoothie upgrades

Add the following to your daily smoothies (in addition to the usual leafy greens, banana, etc.):

  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk 
  • ¼ cup frozen pomegranate 
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (fresh or powdered) 
  • 1 tablespoon green tea powder 
  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseeds 

Weekly juice 

  • I will make a quart of fresh-pressed juice each week with lots of veggies, extra broccoli, tomatoes, and some green apple to sweeten it up.

Tofu 

  • Keep a regular stock of baked tofu with turmeric in the fridge (take some with you to the beach, along with your fruit). Mom or I will make this for you.

Other things to add in / tweak 

  • Do not eat meat, dairy, or eggs. 
  • Drink two cups of low-sodium tomato juice every day. 
  • Stop drinking Blue Sky or any other soda. 
  • Reduce sugar intake as much as you can. Fig newtons are okay if you want something sweet 🙂  
  • Broccoli and tomatoes should be a part of dinner or lunch three or four times a week. 

Again, this plan is not intended as medical advice. I only offer it as our personal experience. 

How this plant based plan helped reduce my dad’s PSA levels by the numbers 

  • PSA 7 – July 2021
  • PSA 6.7 – October 2021
  • PSA 6.2 – April 2022

Cheers to the power of plants, my friend.

A plant based diet decreased my psa levels

Have you or someone you know gone through a similar situation with elevated PSA levels? What was your experience? Did a plant based diet help? Tell us about it in the comments below. 

Molly

Resources:

Fall in love with plant based cooking

Get a weekly dose of inspiration to eat more plants and celebrate imperfection

Our Sweary Saturday Love Letters are written by our ex-boozer, ex-smoker, plant-loving co-founder, Molly Patrick.

2 Comments

  1. Rebecca on September 14, 2022 at 3:34 pm

    Molly,
    Thank you so much for blogging about this. How old is your dad?
    My dad is 85 & his recent PSA is 7.0. He told his doctor he didn’t wanna do anything about it. Since he really isn’t having any symptoms right now.
    He eats a SAD but I will discuss with him & see if he is willing to change his eating. Your post is very encouraging!

    • Stephanie from Team Dirty on September 14, 2022 at 3:41 pm

      Hi Rebecca,

      Molly’s dad is in his mid-70s and feeling great!

      We hope this post helps your dad. We know that health problems can be super scary. <3

      Have a beautiful day,
      Stephanie

Leave a Comment





Are you ready to live a Plant Fueled Life?

Magic Meal Planner

Create your own meal plans with our recipes to save time and money.

Meal Plans

We'll do the dinner planning for you with our Wizard Plans so you can focus on other things.

Plant Based Recipes

The most delicious whole food plant based recipes anywhere, hands down.

Group Coaching

Get ready for massive accountability and follow through.

You may also enjoy...

Molly_Pic

What Do Plant Based Eaters Eat? Here’s What Our Dirty Team Eats in a Day (With Pictures)

8_whole_food_plant_based_moroccan_millet_pilaf_top_shot

What to Do When You Get Off Track from Eating Plants + Moroccan Millet Pilaf (oil-free)

plant-based-reuben-main-shot

Reasons To Avoid Oil and What Gets Me Hot + the Best Vegan Reuben with Tempeh You’ll Ever Eat

Love the food that loves you back

Get instant access to thousands of plant based recipes and meal plans, no credit card or perfection required.