The Prostate gland to men is equivalent to the uterus in females. That being said, it is subject to many of the hormonal imbalances that we are in contact with and that can spur the abnormality of cancer cells in that organ. Prostate Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the US, though long term survival is unparallel with other cancers–with five year survival rates in the mid 90%. (Cancer Facts and Figures, American Cancer Society, 2004)
What natural remedies can be used to help increase the health of the prostate gland?
Pomegranates have been studied to see if they help the health of the prostate gland. The anti-oxidant activity of the pomegranate is higher than red wine or green tea. (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Oct 2008) Pomegranates inhibit the proliferation, metastasis and invasiveness of androgen dependent and independent prostate cancer cells. Pomegranate significantly suppresses testosterone synthesis.
Drinking an eight ounce glass of pomegranate juice daily increased by nearly four times the period during which PSA levels in men treated for prostate cancer remained stable, a three-year UCLA study has found. (Science Daily, July 2, 2006)
Flaxseed lignans have been studied to decrease prostate cancer risks in men. The lignans are components of the flax – that have phytoestrogenic and anti-oxidant actions. High levels of lignans in the body confer a reduced risk of up to 60% prostate cancer, in a Swedish study of 1,500 men.
Vitamin D seems to be cropping up in most health studies these days. There has been several published epidemiological studies showing a positive correlation between the higher levels of Vitamin D and the decreased risk of prostate cancer. The studies explain that as Vitamin D is actively converted, it inhibits prostatic cancer growth. There is also a synergistic from Genestein, a main component found in soy. (The American Society for Nutritional Sciences J. Nutr. 132:3191-3194, October 2002)
Is there a Diet that is Best to Prevent Prostate Cancer?
The two types of diets that may help to prevent prostate cancer are the traditional Japanese diet and the Mediterranean diet. The Japanese diet is high in green tea, soy, vegetables, fish and low in calories and fat. The Mediterranean diet is high in fresh fruits and vegetables, garlic, tomatoes, red wine, olive oil and fish. Both are low in red meat. (December 01, 2006, Paul O’Neill, MD, WebMD). Remember FOOD IS YOUR MEDICINE!
As we speak of food we can’t forget exercise. Here is a study that showed that a low-fat, high-fiber diet and regular exercise can slow prostate cancer cell growth by up to 30 percent, according to a new study by researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center and UCLA’s Department of Physiological Science. (Journal of Urology 9/11)
As we age our probabilities of having our prostate glands developing cancer cells is more likely – these simple nutritional strategies can help us be on the side of reducing our risks for prostate cancer.
Moses Goldberg, ND is a Naturopathic Doctor licensed for primary care in California