Archive for the ‘lycopenes’ Category

Tomatoes and Not Potatoes May Help Prevent Prostate Cancer

July 8, 2016

For many years I have been focused on nutrition and various urologic diseases, especially prostate cancer.  Although the relationship between prostate cancer and diet is certainly a consideration, the use of tomatoes may be one of the strongest preventive options a man can take to avoid prostate cancer.

There are many health advantages of eating more tomatoes, which includes a lower risk of prostate cancer and other cancers as well. While the good news is Americans eat more tomatoes and tomato products than any other non-starchy vegetable, about 90% of adult men fail to consume the 2.5 cups of vegetables per day recommended by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Tomatoes contain a high antioxidant content, specifically lycopene. Lycopene has been the subject of many research studies regarding its protective effect against prostate cancer.

In men with prostate cancer, lycopene supplementation has been shown to be safe and tolerated well in doses up to 120 mg per day for up to one year. Toxicity is generally very mild, with diarrhea as a possible side effect at very high doses.

There appears to be a protective effect of tomatoes and tomato products on the prevention of prostate cancer as well as improvements in biomarkers of disease status, including the PSA levels.

A unique characteristic of tomatoes is that unlike the nutrients in other fresh fruits and vegetables, lycopene is more bioavailable after tomatoes are cooked and processed. This fact opens up even more possibilities for individuals to enjoy the benefits of lycopene.

According to the US Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, ½ cup of tomato paste contains 18.84 mg of lycopene, while an equal amount of tomato sauce has 17.12 mg, spaghetti sauce has 15.82 mg, and tomato juice has 10.88 mg of lycopene.  One-half cup of raw tomatoes, however, contains only 2.32 mg of lycopene. Non-tomato products that contain lycopene include watermelon (1/2 cup has 3.44 mg) and grapefruit (1/2 fruit contains 1.75 mg).

More recent hypotheses have looked at the advantages of whole tomatoes, which are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, fiber, and potassium, and identified other protective elements beyond lycopene. Vitamins A and C are potent antioxidants, while fiber has been shown to reduce cholesterol, and potassium is helpful in lowering blood pressure and possibly reducing bone loss.

Experts in nutrition and cancer note that the preponderance of evidence suggests that consumption of whole tomatoes and tomato products should be preferentially recommended because of greater consistency of documented positive outcomes with the whole tomato and the concomitant supply of other important essential nutrients.

Given that tomatoes and tomato products are already dietary favorites, increasing their consumption can achieve several goals, including reduction in the risk of prostate cancer and other diseases, and helping Americans achieve the recommended daily intake of 2.5 cups of vegetables.

Bottom Line: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer (besides skin cancer) in men and the second most cause of death in men following lung cancer.  Men can be easily diagnosed with a PSA test and a digital rectal exam.  Man can also decrease their risk of prostate cancer by consuming lycopene, an antioxidant, which is plentiful in tomatoes.

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Prostate Enlargement-Eating Your Way To Prostate Health

June 3, 2015

The prostate gland, which is located at the base of the bladder and surrounds the urethra like a donut, enlarges in men after age 40 and continues to grow and obstruct the flow of urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. This problem affects millions of American men and impacts their quality of life. This blog will discuss reducing the symptoms using dietary modification.

Fifty percent of men over the age of 60 suffer from an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). By the age of 85, over 95 percent of men will live with BPH.
The good news is that a diet rich in certain vitamins and minerals can keep your prostate healthy and lower your risk of BPH. And because being overweight is another risk factor for BPH, making nutritious food choices is a great way to lower both your weight and your symptoms of the enlarged prostate gland.

The symptoms of the enlarged prostate gland include frequency of urination, dribbling after urination, and getting up at night to urinate multiple times.

Sesame seeds are rich in zinc, a mineral essential to the health of the prostate. Men with either BPH or prostate cancer have lower levels of zinc in their bodies — sometimes up to 75 percent lower than healthy prostates.

Zinc that comes from food is easier to absorb than zinc supplements. Help your body by snacking on sesame seeds. Or try oysters, adzuki beans, pumpkin seeds, and almonds, which are all high in zinc.

Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These are healthy fats that can protect you from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis. Fatty acids also help in the synthesis of prostaglandin. Fatty acids deficiency may lead to prostate problems.

If you’re not a fan of fish, you can get your omega-3s from walnuts, ground flax seeds, canola oil, and kidney beans.
It is a known fact that Asian men have a lower risk of developing BPH than Western men. One possible reason is that Asian men eat more soy. Soybean isoflavones have been linked to a lower risk for an enlarged prostate. Eating more soy may reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.
For other sources of soybean isoflavones, try low-fat soymilk, tempeh, roasted soybeans, soy yogurt, and meat substitutes made with soy.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that might play a role in fighting BPH. Not all vitamin C is the same, however. Only vitamin C obtained from vegetables lowers your risk of an enlarged prostate. Fruits don’t offer the same benefit. Bell peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable. One cup of raw bell peppers contains 195 percent of your daily requirement intake of vitamin C. Other vegetables to try include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts.

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, the bright carotenoid that gives tomatoes its red color. Lycopene may lower the risk of developing prostate cancer. It can also help men with BPH. Lycopene also helps lower the blood level of antigen, a protein connected to prostate inflammation and BPH.
Tomatoes and tomato products (such as tomato sauce and tomato juice) are the best source of lycopene. You can also get this carotenoid from watermelon, apricots, pink grapefruit, and papaya.

Avocadoes are rich in beta-sitosterol, a plant sterol. Beta-sitosterol can help reduce symptoms associated with BPH. Men taking beta-sitosterol supplements have better urinary flow and less residual urine volume.
Beta-sitosterol can help strengthen the immune system. It can reduce inflammation and pain, as well.
Besides avocadoes, other foods rich in beta-sitosterol include pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, soybeans, and pecans.

Eating more vegetables can help lower your risk of BPH. Green leafy vegetables are especially important because they are rich in antioxidants. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli also reduce the risk of prostate problems, including BPH and prostate cancer.
People who eat onion and garlic regularly might also have a lower risk of BPH. Onions and garlic are often used in natural medicine to fight infection and help strengthen the immune system.

Bottom Line: Prostate gland affects the majority of men after middle age. The symptoms can affect a man’s quality of life and even impact his productivity in the work place. There are dietary modifications that may reduce the symptoms. If these are ineffective, speak to your doctor as there are medications and treatment options that can restore a man’s urinary health.

Tomatoes Can Punch Out Prostate Cancer

March 14, 2014

Tomatoes Can Punch Out Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer remains one of the most common cancers in men and causes the death of nearly 30,000 men each year. The cause of prostate cancer is unknown but we do know that having a family member with prostate cancer and African American men have a higher incidence of prostate cancer which leads me to believe that there is a genetic or hereditary basis for prostate cancer.

A recent study from the Journal of National Cancer Institute has pointed out that increased consumption of lycopenes, which are found in tomatoes, tomato-based products, pink grapefruit, and watermelons appear to decrease the risk of prostate cancer.

The study suggests that increasing the consumption of a diet rick in lycopene-containing foods reduces the aggressive potential of prostate cancer. The study showed that a high in take of tomato or tomato-based products was associated with a 10%-20% decrease in prostate cancer risk and those men who had high blood levels of lycopenes had a 25% decrease risk of prostate cancer.

For those men who do not like tomatoes, you can take a supplement of lycopene, 20-25mg per day.

Bottom Line: No one knows for certain why lycopenes decreases the risk of prostate cancer. But as my wise Jewish mother would say, “It may not help, but it voidn’t hoit.”

Diet and Cancer

December 7, 2012

The scientists and doctors are telling us repeatedly that weight loss and exercise will give you a leg up on protecting you against many kinds of cancer. It is estimated that 1\3 of all cancers can be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight, eating a plant-based diet, and being physically active.

If you don’t smoke, controlling your weight is the most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of cancer. More than 100,000 cases of cancer a year could be prevented if people maintained a healthy weight.

But now only does ideal weight make a difference but also the food that you eat. People who eat vegetables, beans, fruits nuts, and whole grains, olive oil and fish have fewer cases of cancer and heart disease.

For example cooked tomatoes, such as in tomato sauce, contain large quantities of lycopenes, which may help prevent prostate cancer.

Diets high in fiber from whole grains helps protect against cancer.

And now some good news. Coffee appears to lower the risk of uterine cancer and colon cancer. Men and women who drink four or more cups of coffee a day have a lower risk of colon cancer.

Bottom Line: Look at the dietary big picture. Think color. Your plate should have a rainbow of colors: green lettuce, red tomatoes, pink salmon, ruby-red cranberries, bright orange sweet potatoes, and blueberries for desert.

Prevent Prostate Cancer-Try a Tomato

June 22, 2011

That wonderful, tasty fruit\vegetable just may be what the doctor ordered for prostate cancer prevention.  The primary nutrient behind tomatoes’ healing power is lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that works by neutralizing free radicals which can be a cause of cellular damage leading to the development of prostate cells becoming cancerous.  Eating foods that are high in lycopenes protects against a wide range of cancers, from prostate cancer to lung and breast cancer.

There’s more good news.  Tomatoes can also help prevent heart attacks by lowering cholesterol levels.  Lycopenes also increase bone mineral density and may be protective against hip fractures.  Also, lycopenes can help prevent type-2 diabetes.

It is estimated that three or more servings a week of tomatoes are adequate for the purpose of prostate cancer prevention.

Bottom Line:  No one is certain about what causes prostate cancer.  However, we do know that dietary abuses are partly responsible for the cause of prostate cancer.  We also know that certain supplements including lycopenes can be helpful in preventing prostate cancer.  So in addition to your apple to keep the doctor away, throw in a few tomatoes.