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A Review on Diet and Prostate Cancer

After lung cancer, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men. The older the men get, the higher the occurrence of the disease.

If you have prostate cancer or want to prevent prostate cancer there are numerous information that has looked at diet and prostate cancer. Although some data are compelling, there is still so much to learn about diet and prostate cancer.

You might have already come across the tips below; it might not most likely reduce your risk to the disease but it should improve your health in general.

1. Maintain a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grain.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower reduced the risk of prostate cancer by 41% according to a new study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. These vegetables boast two phytochemicals which are thought to help deactivate cancer-causing substances. Lycopene present in tomatoes and other red fruits have been linked to lower risk of prostate cancer. A tablespoon of ground flaxseed a day contributes to 3 grams of fiber along with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, phytoestrogens and phytochemicals.

2. Stay away from red meat and refined/processed carbohydrates.
Eat fish a couple of times a week instead. Fish have the so called long chain omega-3 which helps stop the development of cancer. Saturated fats in animal meats and dairy products and processed foods that use hydrogenated fats/oils may help promote prostate cancer.

3. Engage in moderate intensity physically active at least 30 minutes a day.
You can also engage in vigorous-intensity physical activity at least 20 minutes on three or more days of the week. One recent study suggested that regular vigorous activity could slow the progression of prostate cancer in men age 65 or older

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Eat Your Way to a Healthy Prostate

It is possible to treat yourself with nutrition. It is important, however, to first have that check-up with the doctor.

Prostate nutrition and health have a relationship. One may be able to avoid prostate irregularities by overcompensating with proper prostate nutrition.

There are two common types of carotenoid – lycopene and beta carotene. Lycopene is a pigment which gives certain fruits (watermelon, red guava, red grapefruits, papaya) and vegetables (tomatoes) their red color. Beta carotene is an orange pigment that is commonly found in carrots and sweet potatoes. Carotenoid is a powerful antioxidant that is linked in some studies to decrease risk of prostate cancer. Antioxidants are molecules that prevent, or at least slow oxidation. Oxidation can create free radicals, which may cause different types of cancer. Enjoy the benefits of carotenoid by eating more tomatoes, processed tomato products, carrots and sweet potatoes.

Cruciferous Vegetables
Eat more broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts and bok choy. A recent study found that men who ate cruciferous vegetables more than once a week were 40% less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than men who rarely ate them. Phytochemicals found in cruciferous vegetables – sulforaphane – can stimulate enzymes in the body that detoxify carcinogens before they damage cells. Through different mechanisms, two other compounds found in cruciferous vegetables — indole 3-carbinol and crambene — are also suspected of activating detoxification enzymes. Another way cruciferous vegetables may help to protect against cancer is by reducing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is the overload of harmful molecules called oxygen-free radicals, which are generated by the body. Reducing these free radicals may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, the more natural and unprocessed the food, the higher the fiber. It keeps the digestive system clean and healthy which keeps the food moving through the digestive tract moving the cancer-causing compounds out before they can create harm. Fiber can also eliminate excess testosterone in the body; thus, a high-fiber diet can aid in the regulation of your body’s hormone levels and may help reduce the risk for prostate cancer.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Eat oily fish such as wild salmon, mackerel, sardine and herring for their beneficial EPA/DHA fatty acids which help reduce production of arachidonic acid in the body. In connection, reduce intake of saturated fats and omega 6 fats. Saturated fats and omega 6 fats are not good for the body. Once consumed, they are converted by our body into arachidonic acid which the body needs to get rid of by producing a bad enzyme called 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX). This 5 LOX enzyme directly stimulates prostate cancer cell proliferation. Further, 5-LOX is metabolized by the body to 5-HETE, which is a metabolite that prevents prostate cancer destruction.

Eating soy products (such as soy milk, tofu, soybean oil, soybean flour) causes a build up of isoflavones in the prostate. Isoflavones, an active ingredient in soy products appears to promote a process where cells initiate their own death (apoptosis). By encouraging apoptosis, soy isoflavones may be preventing cancerous cells from growing and spreading. Isoflavones may also inhibit the growth of new blood vessels, which is necessary for tumor survival. As cancers grow, they need nutrients that are carried to them via blood vessels. If new blood vessels cannot be grown as the cancer develops, the tumor growth will be slowed or stopped. Also, the phytoestrogens-nonsteroidal plant compounds in soy beans help to regulate imbalanced hormone levels (elevated levels of testosterone may increase risk of developing prostate cancer).

Although there is mix result in studies on zinc and prostate health, zinc has long been a target of prostate cancer research because it is found in high concentrations in the prostate. Cancerous prostates have much less zinc than normal prostates. Zinc deficiency in normal prostate epithelial cells not only induces DNA damage itself, but also may impair the cell’s ability to respond to DNA damage, increasing the risk of prostate cancer development. Adequate zinc levels are essential for maintaining healthy prostate cells, but zinc supplementation may not prevent already cancerous prostate cells from growing. Also, studies show increased cancer risk with very high dose or long-term zinc supplement use. As with most therapeutics, higher doses do not always equate with an increase in efficacy. Increase zinc containing foods in your diet such as seafood (especially oysters), pumpkin seeds, eggs and brewer’s yeast. Lean meat also contains zinc. Eat organically grown food if possible, as pesticides can reduce zinc uptake.

Green Tea
Drinking 4-6 cups of green tea daily may help prevent prostate cancer. The polyphenols found in green tea attack the growth factors and protein, interrupting the growth process of tumors. Earlier studies also show that the same natural plant substances may also help prevent the start of prostate cancer itself. The phytochemicals in green tea seem to increase the number of enzymes that help convert carcinogens in the body to a harmless form. Green tea can have side effects including increased stomach acidity and it’s still unclear whether high doses cause liver damage.

Limit dairy consumption
Diets high in dairy products and calcium may be associated with small increases in prostate cancer risk. Moderate your dairy consumption, and don’t overdo calcium¬ supplements or foods fortified with extra calcium.

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May 2021
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