To Your Health
March, 2014 (Vol. 08, Issue 03)
Great Ways to Help Prevent Prostate Cancer
By James P. Meschino, DC, MS
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer mortality in men in the United States, accounting for 27,000 deaths each year. Rates of recurrence for early-stage disease are relatively high, and mortality rates for late-stage disease have not improved significantly over the past 10 years.
In regard to prostate cancer prevention, as much as 75 percent of prostate cancer is attributable to dietary and lifestyle factors, according to data published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute
. In my opinion, all men – and their loved ones – need to understand the steps to prostate cancer prevention:
- Drink 3 cups of green tea daily.
- Avoid high-fat animal foods such as red meat, pork products and high-fat dairy products, as well as foods high in trans fats, and deep-fried and pan-fried foods.
- Ingest no more than 2-3 alcoholic drinks per week on average.
- Eat one serving of a cruciferous vegetable at least three times per week (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower).
- Consume tomatoes and tomato products (e.g., tomato sauce, tomato juice) at least 4-5 times per week to acquire the protective properties of lycopene.
- Include soy products in your diet regularly. Studies show that soy foods and/or soy extract supplements block key steps in prostate cancer development and help manage many existing prostate cancer cases.
- Drink 4-8 ounces of pomegranate juice daily.
- Consume 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed daily.
- Take a daily high-potency multivitamin/mineral supplement that contains the following levels of antioxidants and vitamin D, shown to help inhibit prostate cancer development in various studies: vitamin C – 1,000 mg, vitamin E (succinate) – 400 IU, vitamin D – 1,000 IU, selenium – 200 mcg, and lycopene (5 percent) – 6 mg.
- Take an essential fatty acid supplement daily that contains 400 mg each of borage seed oil, flaxseed oil and fish oil (30 percent EPA / 20 percent DHA).
- Take some additional vitamin D (1,000-3,000 IU) during the winter months if you live above or below 40 degrees latitude, ensuring a blood level of at least 85 nmol/L.
- Green tea catechins – Take a supplement containing 300-600 mg of GTC derived from decaffeinated green tea.
- After age 40, take a prostate support supplement that contains specific ingredients that block the build-up of the dangerous form of testosterone (DHT); and blocks the overstimulation of testosterone and estrogen on the prostate gland. This is vital for men over age 40, as this is when these hormones enlarge the prostate and promote cancer development. A supplement of this type should contain saw palmetto – 640 mg (standardized to 45 percent fatty acids and sterols), Pygeum Africanum – 100 mg (standardized to 25 percent triterpenes), beta-sitosterol – 144 mg, soy extract – 100 mg (20 percent isoflavones), stinging nettle – 60 mg (5:1), lycopene (5 percent) – 25 mg, and pumpkin seed extract (4:1) – 50 mg.
- Melatonin – Take 1-3 mg of melatonin 60-90 minutes before bedtime daily after age 40.
Editor's note: Remember to consult with your doctor prior to taking any dietary supplement, particularly if you have a pre-existing health condition.
James Meschino, DC, MS, practices in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and is the author of four nutrition books, including The Meschino Optimal Living Program and Break the Weight Loss Barrier.