Can men avoid prostate cancer? A brief review of diet and the prostate


Seeds, Nuts Prostate Cancer

"Emphasis on raw seeds and nuts, especially pumpkin and squash seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds and sesame seeds. All of these foods are rich in high-quality proteins, unsaturated fats and zinc -- food elements that are essential for the health of the prostate.

"Plenty of raw vegetables and fruits, plus fresh juices.

"Use cold-pressed vegetable oils . . . such as sunflower seed oil . . . or olive oil for essential fatty acids. Avoid coffee, alcohol, and all strong spices.

"Herbs: Juniper berry, ginseng, damiana, kelp, echinacea, birch leaf."

From How to Get Well

By Paavo Airola, Ph.D.
(Health Plus Publishers, Phoenix,
Vitamins, Diet and Prostate Cancer
Vitamins, Diet and Prostate Cancer

"Eat a low-fat diet. Most important is the reduction of animal fats, as these seem to be most strongly linked with prostate cancer.

"Eat a high-fiber diet. Fiber -- the part of the plant materials that our body does not digest -- binds bile acids, cholesterol, carcinogens, and other substances that lead to cancer.

"Eat a diet high in antioxidants. While proper levels of all vitamins and minerals are necessary for normal body functions, certain vitamins have been found to be particularly helpful in the fight against cancer. Vitamins A, C, and E -- as well as beta-carotene, the chemical the body uses to make vitamin A -- and the mineral selenium help the body protect itself. These nutrients, known as antioxidants, block the cancer-initiation process and help preserve the cell's DNA, the genetic material necessary for health cell reproduction."

From Coping With Prostate Cancer

By Robert H. Phillips, Ph.D.
(A very Publishing Company, Garden City Park, New York)
Diet, the Prostate and Cancer

"A high-fat, high cholesterol diet from childhood on may overstimulate our endocrine system, producing much the same effect that one would get running a Volkswagen on high-octane fuel. Possibly, when we eat a great deal of cholesterol-rich or fatty foods, our bodies respond by releasing increased amounts of hormones, setting into action a chain of events which will alter the biochemical balance, leaving . . . the prostate, and possibly other organs, less immune to disease and favoring the growth of cancerous tumors."

From Preventing Cancer

By Dr. Elizabeth Whelan
(W. W. Norton Company, New York City, New York)
Zinc and the Prostate

"The prostate contains more zinc than any other human organ. This implies that zinc might be associated with the synthetic capability of the prostate.

"There appears to be good correlation between zinc concentrations in expressed prostatic secretions and several prostatic diseases.

"In patients who have died of chronic disease, prostatic zinc levels are usually low in all anatomic subdivisions of the prostate.

"Experimental manipulations and clinical data suggest that loss of zinc may be linked to malignant transformation."

From Zinc and the Prostate

By Drs. Krongard and Droller
From Prostatic Disorders,
(A Lea and Febiger medical textbook)
Soy Beans and Prostate Cancer

"This study evaluated 4 isoflavonoids derived from soy products in the plasma of 14 Japanese and 14 Finnish men. Plasma levels of isofiavonoids were 7 to 110 times higher in Japanese men than in Finnish men.

"Epidemiologic studies as well as clinical studies showed that isoflavonoids lower the risk of prostate cancer.

"Japanese men have a high consumption of soy products which are rich in isofiavonoids."

Prostate Cancer and Soy
From The Lancet,
(A British Medical Journal 11/13/93)
Diet and Prostate Cancer Patients

"Diet may help improve survival in prostate cancer as well. When pathologists conduct autopsies of men over forty-five years of age who die from accidents or other causes, they find cancer cells in the prostates of about 20% of them. These men did not know they had cancer and had no symptoms whatsoever. The presence of such latent cancers actually varies with location, the lowest rates being in Singapore (13%) and Hong Kong (16%), and the highest in Sweden (32%). In most men the cells never grow into a large tumor, never spread, or never affect life or death in anyway. However, just as the prevalence of latent cancers varies from one country to the next, the likelihood that they will turn into symptomatic cancer varies precisely the same way, suggesting that the same factors that cause cancer cells to form in the first place also encourage them to grow and spread. A low-fat, high-fiber diet can help eliminate the hormonal aberrations that are known to be linked with prostate cancer."

From Food For Life

By Neal Barnard, M.D.
(Harmony Books)
Prostate Cancer Prevention

"Primary prevention refers to interruption of the carcinogenic processes so that tumor development is aborted or delayed. These efforts focus on behavior modification and chemoprevention through drug therapy or dietary supplements.

"The role of diet in cancer etiology, although believed to have potentially great significance by most researchers, is difficult to study. However, a new generation of prospective epidemiological studies has emerged and is contributing useful information through careful measurement of dietary intake."

From Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention
Scientific American Medicine
Clinical Evidence

"We examined prospectively the relationship between prostate cancer and dietary fat, including specific fatty acids and dietary sources of fat. We examined the relationship of fat consumption to the incidence of advanced prostate cancer (stages C, D, or fatal cases) and to the total incidence of prostate cancer.

"The results support the hypothesis that animal fat, especially in the form of red meat, is associated with an elevated risk of advanced prostate cancer."

From Journal of The National Cancer Institute
Bethesda, Maryland

ILLUSTRATION: Pick your poison--a diet heavy in the use of animal products and preserved foods can lead to the development of prostate cancer.

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