Posts Tagged ‘antioxidants’

Spicing Up Your Treatment Prostate Cancer

September 8, 2013

Would you ever imagine that a common spice added to food could be helpful in preventing and perhaps treating prostate cancer?  Allspice, a popular flavoring contains an antioxidant that decreases the growth of prostate cancer cells in experiments. Allspice a popular folk medicine remedy for a number of maladies, and it has the highest amount of antioxidants of any food we know.

Allspice is produced from the dried, unripe berries of the Pimenta diocia tree, which grows in the Caribbean and Central America. 

Allspice contains an active ingredient, Ericifolin, which significantly slowed the growth of cancer cells.  The study was conducted in mice with implanted prostate tumors.  Tumor growth was inhibited in more than half of the mice.  Also prostate specific antigen (PSA) was lowered in the mice treated with the Allspice. 

Since allspice is not toxic, men would be ideal candidates to take Ericifolin as a daily dietary supplement to prevent prostate cancer and in men with slow growing prostate cancer or in men who are not candidates for surgery or radiation therapy.

Bottom Line: It may be too soon to tout the benefits of Allspice since there are few scientific studies on allspice, but the researchers were intrigued by what they learned.

Spices May Really Be The Spice Of Life

December 30, 2012
Paul Prudhome's Magic Seasoning

Paul Prudhome’s Magic Seasoning

I know I have focused on male and female pelvic health but I would also like to blog on other aspects of health that I think are worthy of mention. This blog discusses the health benefits of adding spices to meals.

It has been reported in medical journals that spices can increase your metabolism and improve your heart health. A study of two groups: one receiving high fat meals and the other group had the same identical high fat diet but had an added mix of spices-rosemary, oregano, and cinnamon. Each rich foods typically increases blood levels of insulin and triglyceride fats, which heighten the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Volunteers eating the spicy meal saw increase in triglycerides and insulin that were significantly lower than those of the group who ate the diet without the spices.

The investigators believe that antioxidants found in spices are responsible.

Bottom Line: Spices may be helpful for boosting metabolism and may be heart healthy. So add a little spice to your life and you just may increase the length of your life.

For more information on using spices in your cooking check out Chef Paul Prodhomme’s website:

Tea, Pee, and Your Prostate Gland-What’s the Connection?

July 7, 2012

A recent report from University of Glasgow in the U.K. reported that black tea may be deleterious to your prostate and may even increase your risk of prostate cancer.
They studied approximately 6,000 men between the ages of 21-75 for the past four decades and discovered that those who consumed more than seven cups of black tea daily were twice as likely to develop prostate cancer than those who drank only three, or less cups.
This report is just a little confusing to both doctors and the public as previous research had shown that drinking tea was found to lower the risk of cancer as well as diabetes and heart disease. Yet despite the new findings the investigators believe that drinking black tea may still have an overall positive effect on health that trumps any connection to prostate cancer.

An explanation: Perhaps heavy tea drinkers were more likely not to be overweight, have good cholesterol levels, and avoid alcohol. As a result, it could just be possible that the heavy tea drinkers tend to live to older ages which is exactly the time in a man’s life when prostate cancer is more common.

So what is tea?
Tea is one of the most ancient and popular beverages consumed around the world. Black tea accounts for about 75 percent of the world’s tea consumption. In the United States, United Kingdom (UK), and Europe, black tea is the most common tea beverage consumed. Black tea is produced when tealeaves are wilted, bruised, rolled, and fully oxidized. Dry heat or steam can be used to stop the oxidation process, and then the leaves are dried to prepare them for sale. Tea is brewed from dried leaves and buds (either in tea bags or loose), prepared from dry instant tea mixes, or sold as ready-to-drink iced teas. So-called herbal teas are not really teas but infusions of boiled water with dried fruits, herbs, and/or flowers.

Black Tea

Black Tea

What’s so healthy about tea?
Tea is composed of polyphenols, alkaloids (caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine), amino acids, carbohydrates, proteins, chlorophyll, volatile organic compounds (chemicals that readily produce vapors and contribute to the odor of tea).
The polyphenols, a large group of plant chemicals that includes the catechins, are thought to be responsible for the health benefits that have traditionally been attributed to tea.
The highest polyphenol concentration is found in brewed hot tea, less in instant preparations, and lower amounts in iced and ready-to-drink teas.
Teas and Cancer

Among their many biological activities, the predominant polyphenols in black teas have antioxidant activity. These chemicals have substantial free radical scavenging activity and may protect cells from DNA damage caused by free radicals. Tea polyphenols have also been shown to inhibit tumor cell proliferation and induce apoptosis in laboratory and animal studies. In other laboratory and animal studies, tea catechins have been shown to inhibit angiogenesis and tumor cell invasiveness. In addition, tea polyphenols may protect against damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) B radiation, and they may modulate immune system function. Furthermore, teas have been shown to help protect against tumor development. Although many of the potential beneficial effects of tea have been attributed to the strong antioxidant activity of tea polyphenols, the precise mechanism by which tea might help prevent cancer has not been established.

Tea has long been regarded as an aid to good health, and many believe it can help reduce the
risk of cancer. Although tea and/or tea polyphenols have been found in animal studies to inhibit tumorigenesis at different organ sites, including the skin, lung, oral cavity, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, pancreas, and mammary gland, the results of human studies—both epidemiologic and clinical studies—have been inconclusive.

The results of these studies have often been inconsistent, but some have linked tea consumption to reduced risks of cancers of the colon, breast, ovary, prostate, and lung. The inconsistent results may be due to variables such as differences in tea preparation and consumption, the types of tea studied (green, black, or both), the methods of tea production, the bioavailability of tea compounds, genetic variation in how people respond to tea consumption, the concomitant use of tobacco and alcohol, and other lifestyle factors that may influence a person’s risk of developing cancer, such as physical activity or weight status.

Two other clinical trials, both uncontrolled studies, investigated the use of green tea extracts to reduce prostate-specific antigen levels in men with prostate cancer and found no evidence of such a reduction.

What does the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have to say about tea? NCI is a research institution. It develops evidence-based research results for others to interpret. In general, therefore, NCI does not make recommendations about specific medical or dietary interventions.
 Moreover, as noted above, the evidence regarding the potential benefits of tea consumption in relation to cancer is inconclusive at present.

So what is my Bottom Line advice? Black tea may be beneficial to other organs and systems but the jury is out on the prostate gland. Therefore, heavy tea drinkers need to see their doctor once a year and have a PSA blood test and a digital rectal exam.

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.

An Apple A Day Does More Thank Keep the Doctor Away-It Just Might Make You Live Longer…Especially If You Are a Fruit Fly!*

March 29, 2011

Scientists are reporting the first evidence that consumption of a healthful antioxidant substance in apples extends the average lifespan of test animals, and does so by 10 percent. The new results, obtained with fruit flies – stand-ins for humans in hundreds of research projects each year – bolster similar findings on apple antioxidants in other animal tests. The study appears in ACS’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Zhen-Yu Chen and colleagues note that damaging substances generated in the body, termed free radicals, cause undesirable changes believed to be involved in the aging process and some diseases. Substances known as antioxidants can combat this damage. Fruits and vegetables in the diet, especially brightly colored foods like tomatoes, broccoli, blueberries, and apples are excellent sources of antioxidants. A previous study with other test animals hinted that an apple antioxidant could extend average lifespan. In the current report, the researchers studied whether different apple antioxidants, known as polyphenols, could do the same thing in fruit flies.  (This is particularly good news for fruit flies. If I were a fruit fly I would want to live longer too.)

The researchers found that apple polyphenols not only prolonged the average lifespan of fruit flies but helped preserve their ability to walk, climb and move about. In addition, apple polyphenols reversed the levels of various biochemical substances found in older fruit flies and used as markers for age-related deterioration and approaching death. Chen and colleagues note that the results support those from other studies, including one in which women who often ate apples had a 13-22 percent decrease in the risk of heart disease, and polish the apple’s popular culture image as a healthy food.

*J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Mar 9;59(5):2097-106. Epub 2011 Feb 14.
Apple Polyphenols Extend the Mean Lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster.

Berries For Your Blood Pressure-How Strawberries Can Reduce Your Risk of Hypertension

January 30, 2011

Eating just 1 cup of strawberries or blueberries each week can reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. The new findings appear in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The new study included 87,242 women who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study II, 46,672 women from the Nurses’ Health Study I, and 23,043 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up study. During the 14-year follow-up period, 29,018 women and 5,629 men developed high blood pressure.

Men and women with the highest amount of anthocyanin from blueberries and strawberries had an 8% reduction in their risk for developing high blood pressure, compared to study participants who ate the least amount of these anthocyanin-rich berries, the study showed.

Anthocyanin is a powerful antioxidant that gives blueberries and strawberries their vibrant color. It may also help open blood vessels, which allows for smoother blood flow and a lower risk for high blood pressure.

Men, Want To Become A Father? Try Taking Antioxidants!

January 19, 2011

ABC World News (1/18, story 7, 0:25, Sawyer) reported, “A new report has found that men who take antioxidants while trying to get their partner pregnant are four times more likely to succeed than men who do not. And, the type doesn’t matter — vitamin E, zinc, magnesium all work. Scientists just don’t understand why.”


MedPage Today (1/18, Phend) reported that “antioxidant supplements may boost fertility for men,” according to a study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. After pooling “the results from 34 randomized controlled trials that included a total of 2,876 couples with male factor subfertility or unexplained subfertility who were undergoing assisted reproductive technology using their own sperm and eggs,” researchers found that “men taking antioxidants were over fourfold more likely than controls to get their partner pregnant and see a successful live birth.”

Take Tea and See….Your Prostate Cancer Slow Down

August 10, 2010

Green tea may lower the risk of prostate cancer and slow the progress of tumors.  Research suggests a compound in the tea causes lower levels of a protein linked to prostate cancer.

A recent American study showed that men diagnosed with prostate cancer that hadn’t spread outside of the prostate gland were given six cups of green tea a day for three to six weeks before undergoing surgical removal of the prostate gland.  The other group or the control group received only hot water before their surgery to remove the prostate gland.

The researchers then examined the tissue that had been removed for levels of a compound known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate.

This compound was only found in the tea drinkers and not in the prostate glands of men drinking only the hot water. Blood tests also indicated the tea drinkers had lower levels of proteins connected to the growth and spread of prostate cancer. It is thought the compound, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, has an antioxidant effect, mopping up damaging free radicals.

Bottom Line:  If you have prostate cancer, you might consider placing green tea on your table as your beverage of choice.