Archive for prostate cancer
Lycopene Helps Fight Infertility in Men
Given that lycopene (a substance found in many red fruits and veggies such as tomatoes and watermelon) has been shown to lower risk of prostate cancer, it is not surprising that this substance also has an effect on other male reproductive issues. Combine lycopene with zinc and therapies designed to restore hormone levels and many cases of infertility may be resolved.
(article) Lycopene, an antioxidant found in watermelon, grapes, tomatoes and some shellfish, seems to treat infertility in men, studies conducted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi show. AIIMS researchers Dr. Rajeev Kumar and Dr. N. P. Gupta had 30 infertile male patients, ages 23 to 45, take 2 mg oral lycopene twice daily for 3 months. “Lycopene is one of the 650 carotenoids found in high concentrations in male testes and lower levels of lycopene are found in infertile males,” Dr. Gupta told Reuters Health. The duration of infertility in these men had ranged from 1.2 to 20 years, according to the researchers. In all cases, infertility was idiopathic. Twenty-seven patients had oligospermia, 26 had impaired sperm motility and 22 had abnormal sperm morphology. All three parameters were found in 14 patients, another 14 had two abnormal parameters and the remaining two patients had a single abnormality. After lycopene had been administered for 3 months, sperm concentration improved in 67% of the 30 patients. Maximum improvement was noted in patients with baseline sperm concentrations greater than 5 million/mL. Overall, 73% patients showed improved sperm motility and 63% showed improvement in sperm morphology. “We found that improvement in sperm concentration and motility was statistically significant,” Dr. Gupta said in the interview with Reuters Health. There were six pregnancies after the trial, he added. “Oral lycopene therapy does seem to have a positive role in the management of infertility of unknown causes,” Dr. Gupta concluded. “However, larger randomized controlled trials are essential before definitive therapeutic guidelines can be laid down.”
Eat Soy: Prevent Baldness and Prostate Cancer?
A naturally occurring substance, DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is a byproduct of the male hormone testosterone that helps control the development and functioning of the prostate gland; in most men, DHT is relatively harmless. However, some studies have shown that high levels of DHT can damage hair follicles, leading to male pattern baldness, or lead to an enlarged prostate or, in extreme cases, cancer of the prostate gland.
Researchers in the U.S. and China recently discovered that the answer to stopping DHT may be as easy as eating soy. The scientists conducted a pair of experiments in which two sets of rats were injected with “equol,” a molecule abundant in soybeans and other soy-based products. While the equol did not prevent DHT from being made, it “handcuffed” the hormone by binding to and deactivating it.
“Directly binding and inactivating DHT without influencing testosterone gives equol the ability to reduce many of the harmful effects of androgens [male hormones] without affecting the beneficial ones,” said the study’s lead researcher. Another one of the study authors added that the findings “are of immense clinical importance.”
Additional information about the benefits of sound nutrition can be found athttp://www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/nutrition.
Reference: Lund TD, Munson DJ, Haldy ME, et al. Equol is a novel anti-androgen that inhibits prostate growth and hormone feedback. Biology of Reproduction 2004;70:1188-1195.
Energy Imbalance and Prostate Cancer
This is an interesting concept with prostate cancer, and does seem to fit with other observations. This review article found associations with excess (above expenditure) caloric intake and risk of prostate cancer as well as with more advanced cases of prostate cancer. This fits with a few other concepts. First, caloric restriction w/o nutrient restriction has consistently shown life span extension in mammals, and cancer risk reduction across the board may very well be a factor in the longevity. Second, IGF-1, a hormone that has been related to risk of prostate cancer, is increased via insulin and insulin levels would generally increase with higher caloric intakes. You could add a low caloric diet to treatment for prostate cancer.
Nutrition.org — Abstracts: Platz 132 (11): 3471S -
Tomato Products, Lycopene, and Prostate Cancer Risk
I currently have a patient with metastatic prostate cancer to pelvic and hip bones. I’m working with his oncologist to clean up his lifestyle and improve his overall health. We have just started him on a program of lycopene supplements in an attempt to alter progression of the disease. I felt that the evidence was strong enough to support this approach.
Cancer Spectrum: Giovannucci et al, pp. 391-398
Resveratrol: Candidate for Prostate Cancer Prevention
Resveratrol is a bioflavanoid found in peanuts and grapes that is believed to be the reason why wine is good for the heart.
This study suggests that we can add prostate cancer protection to the cardioprotective list.
nutrition.org — Abstracts: Stewart et al. 133 (7): 2440S
Mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 and predisposition to prostate cancer
Too many people do not make the association with a family member with either breast cancer or prostate cancer if they are of the opposite sex. However, there are numerous pathways by which these can be related. I was already aware that the way our bodies breakdown estrogen (identified in research as the 2/16 hydroxylation ratio) is a risk factor for both breast, endometrial and prostate cancer.
This may come as a shocker to those who know me. I’m no fan of dairy. Despite the involvement in seemingly every public health recommendation there is, the research on dairy is just not supportive. Actually, the research is less than supportive. In same cases it is downright scary.
As I have mentioned before, I would like to understand the mindset of the first human to look at a filled-to-bursting cow’s udder and thought…”I’ve GOT to try some of that!!” It’s easy to drink out of a carton, but stop for a minute next time and think where it comes from and what it was designed for.
Overall, though, dairy has been linked to ovarian cancer in several studies (these can be read by clicking here) as well as many other chronic diseases (type 1 diabetes, reflux, weight gain in kids). But cancer seems to be somewhat of a recurring theme. This might be because dairy is designed to support the rapid growth of cells. This is great in a newborn, but not such a good idea as we age.
This particular study continues to add to this theme.
Researchers evaluated the data within the Physician’s Health Study on the relationship between prostate cancer and dairy consumption. Here’s what they found:
- The intake of >2.5 servings / day of dairy products was associated with 12% increased risk of prostate cancer.
- Skim/low-fat milk intake was associated with an elevated risk of low-grade, early stage, and screen-detected cancers (that’s the good news!).
- Whole milk intake was associated with a 49% increased risk of fatal prostate cancer a > 1 serving per day.
- Worse, whole milk intake led to a 217% higher risk of progression to death once someone was already diagnosed (Tweet this).
So much for dairy being good for us, huh?
At one point is society going to stop believing the propaganda of the dairy council and stop poisoning our kids and yourself?
Prevalence of Prostate Cancer among Men with a PSA Equal or less than 4.0 ng/ml
Remember studies like this when the American Cancer Society puts out their propaganda about “prevention” of prostate cancer by getting your PSA levels checked. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY, 100% NOT PREVENTION!! And this study proves it yet again. The PSA levels in 15% patients with prostate cancer in this study were normal. To me, this means that the PSA is not effective in identifying prostate cancer.
Now, I do feel it can be used as a baseline that can then be checked in subsequent years for changes. In summary–prevention via good diet, lots of lycopene containing fruits, high intakes of cruciferous veggies to modulate the breakdown of estrogen (yes..I said estrogen) and maintenance of a healthy body weight.
NEJM — Prevalence of Prostate Cancer among Men with a Prostate-Specific Antigen Level <=4.0 ng per Milliliter -
Indole-3-Carbinol and Prostate Cancer
This same concept would benefit many cases of breast cancer as well (unbeknownst to the oncologist in the previous example…). But I have a question here. For I-3-C in foods to be activated to DIM, stomach acid is required. Are the physicians prescribing acid suppressive therapy informing their patients that the cancer protective effect of their foods will probably be reduced by this class of drugs??