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The natural way to prevent prostate cancer

MagazineAugust 1995 (Vol. 6 Issue 5)The natural way to prevent prostate cancer

In the US, the National Academy of Sciences estimates that 40 per cent of men's cancers, especially prostate cancer, are affected by nutrition, so nutritional supplements can help to possibly treat and especially prevent the condition

In the US, the National Academy of Sciences estimates that 40 per cent of men's cancers, especially prostate cancer, are affected by nutrition, so nutritional supplements can help to possibly treat and especially prevent the condition.

A low-fat, high fibre, high-complex carbohydrate diet, and avoiding alcohol, helps to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.Fat intake, more often than any other dietary factor, has repeatedly been found to be related to the risk of cancer, and some studies suggest that the amount of saturated fat in your diet may be particularly important. A study which included five ethnic groups Japanese, Caucasian, Chinese, Filipino, and Hawaiian showed that reducing fat intake reduced the risk of prostate cancer (Am J Nut 1991; 53: 31 and 54: 1093-100).

Eat soy products. In Japan and some other Asian countries, death from prostate cancer is low (Int J Cancer 1982; 29: 611-616) because their diet is not only low in fat but also contains a high content of soy products, a rich source of isoflavanoids which inhibit the growth of prostate cancer (The Lancet 1993; 342: 1209-10).

Increase your fibre intake. A study of Seventh-Day Adventist men who eat a lot of beans, lentils, peas and some dried fruits showed that the more fibre a person consumes (especially lignin and the water-insoluble fibres, such as cellulose), the greater was the binding to estrogen and testosterone, thus reducing the amount of these hormones in the body and possibly reducing the risk of prostate cancer (Cancer 1989; 64: 589-604 and Am J Clin Nut 1990; 51: 365-70).

Avoid estrogen in processed food. A review in the Journal of Endocrinology (1993; 136: 357-60) suggests that exposure at birth to estrogenic chemicals in foods such cows' milk may be connected to a decline in sperm counts and a doubling in the rate of testicular cancer among men in Western countries.

Eat zinc-rich foods and consider zinc supplements. A healthy prostate contains higher levels of zinc than any other organ, because it's required for producing male hormones. Zinc protects us from the toxic effects of the metal cadmium, which has been shown to stimulate the growth of the prostate in low concentrations. High-level exposure to cadmium is associated with an increased risk of prostate and lung cancer (Am J Epidemiol 1989; 129 (1): 112-24). Compared with other groups, men with the most malignant form of prostate cancer have the highest cadmium levels and the lowest zinc levels. Pilot studies have shown that zinc supplements can successfully reduce an enlarged prostate and treat the associated symptoms. It's therefore suggested that a daily 15mg dose forms part of of your diet, no matter what other treatment plan you're on.

Make sure you have enough essential fatty acids, particularly omega-6 variety, found in evening primrose oil. Linoleic acid has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer cells forming within the prostate (Nutr Cancer 1987; 9: 123-28).

Consider taking botanical extracts, says WDDTY panelist Melvyn Werbach, of pollen and saw palmetto. Both have been shown in studies to reduce

symptoms of benign prostate enlargement and shrink prostate size.


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