Cancer rate lower for monks

Dietary and lifestyle habits of monks on Mount Athos, northern Greece, have facilitated healthy living and lower cancer rates, according to the results of a survey made public yesterday. Regular consumption of olive oil in cooking, along with fish and seasonal fruit and vegetables are among the factors keeping the incidence of prostate cancer below international averages, according to data presented by urologist Haralambos Aidonopoulos. «It is not just the Mediterranean diet that helps but generally a diet consisting of old, traditional standards,» said Aidonopoulos. The study examined hundreds of monks from Mount Athos since 1994 and found that the incidence of prostate cancer was 4.5 times lower than international levels. In the last 13 years, there have been 11 reported cases of prostate cancer among monks. Other positive factors were proper sleep patterns and the lack of air pollution, according to the research.