Posts Tagged ‘Vitamin E’

Nutrition for Your Prostate Gland

January 9, 2012

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men causing nearly 250,000 new cases each year. It is the second most common cause of death in American men, killing nearly 40,000 men annually. However, with regular examination consisting of a digital rectal exam and a PSA blood test, prostate cancer can be detected early and treated. There are other healthy life-style changes that can be easily done that may even help prevent prostate cancer.
1. Start taking vitamin D, E and selenium supplements. Although further research is needed to confirm their effectiveness, studies have demonstrated that all three, vitamin D, E and selenium, show promise with regard to prostate cancer prevention when taken regularly.
2. Eat more soybeans (or soybean products) and other legumes. Elevated levels of testosterone may increase your risk for developing prostate cancer. The phytoestrogens-nonsteroidal plant compounds that act like estrogen in the body and thus can help to regulate imbalanced hormone levels-contained in these foods may help to prevent prostate cancer; genistein, an isoflavone also found in soy foods, helps to normalize hormone levels and thus may reduce prostate cancer.
3. Drink green tea. Antioxidant compounds in green tea may help prevent prostate cancer; some have even been found to kill prostate cancer cells in test tubes, while others have blocked enzymes that promote prostate cancer.
4. Get plenty of fiber. Fiber can eliminate excess testosterone in the body; thus, a high-fiber diet can aid in the regulation of your body’s hormone levels and may help reduce the risk for prostate cancer.
5. Reduce your intake of meat and saturated fats. Follow a low-fat diet: diets high in saturated fat ¬animal fat in particular-and red met have been found to increase the risk for prostate cancer. Eating a low-tat diet also helps to prevent obesity, a condition that may also increase prostate cancer risk.
6. Eat more broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts and greens. A recent study found that men who ate cruciferous vegetables more than once a week were 40% less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than men who rarely ate them.
7. Eat cooked tomatoes. Lycopene, the carotenoid pigment that makes tomatoes bright red, possesses powerful antioxidant properties and has been linked in some studies to a decreased risk for prostate cancer.
8. Limit your dairy consumption. Diets high in dairy products and calcium may be associated with small increases in prostate cancer risk. Moderate your dairy consumption, and don’t overdo calcium¬ supplements or foods fortified with extra calcium.
9. Get regular aerobic exercise. Regular aerobic exercise has been associated with reduced risk levels for prostate cancer: exercise also helps prevent obesity and other health-related complications that obesity causes.
10. See your physician for prostate cancer screenings regularly. While regular screenings can’t reduce your risk for prostate cancer, changes in diet and exercise can. They help ensure early diagnosis so that prostate cancer can be treated as effectively as possible. My best advice is to get screened annually if you are over the age of 50, if you have a family member who has prostate cancer, or if you are an African-American man.

Bottom Line: Prostate cancer may have a relationship with diet. I cannot tell you for certain if you follow these instructions you will not develop prostate cancer. But as my wonderful Jewish mother would say, “It may not help, but it voidn’t hoit!”

Alternative Treatments of the Enlarged Prostate Gland

November 13, 2011

Most men will have symptoms of prostate gland enlargement after age 50 Those symptoms include frequency of urination, getting up at night to urinate, urgency of urination, and dribbling after urination. There are numerous medications that are effective in reducing the symptoms of the enlarged prostate gland. There are large numbers of men who find that their symptoms are not of significance that require treatment or they are using so many medications that the men don’t want to add any additional medications to their already lengthy list of drugs. There are supplements and vitamins that can be used that may have a role for men who do not want to take additional medications.

Beta-sitosterol

Beta-sitosterol is the main active ingredient in the herbs saw palmetto and pygeum. Both of these herbs do not have enough beta-sitosterol to be of real value in giving you prostate health. Now, beta-sitosterol, which can be obtained from sugar cane pulp, can be purchased in capsule doses of 300 – 600 mg, which gives you an effective dose to eliminate your enlarged prostate. Pygeum can only provide around 30 mg and you need upwards of 600 mg daily.

Flax Seed or Fish Oil

The nutrient to use for the best prostate health diet is flaxseed oil.
Flax seed oil contains more omega-3 than omega-6 and so it makes it a good source of omega-3. The more omega-6 use, from olive oil and other vegetables oils, the more prone you will be to prostate cancer. This is not the case with omega-3 oil and this has been verified through clinical studies.

Omega-3 protects the prostates cells and has anti-inflammatory properties. Using fish oil can also be a better choice than flax seed oil since your body digests it better.

Use 1 – 2 grams of flax seed or fish oil per day.

Soy Isoflavones

Soy Isoflavones have been shown in clinical studies to have good effects on your prostate and should be added to your prostate health diet. These isoflavones are flavones and contain no photoestrogen so the have no estrogen effects in the body.

The active ingredients in the isoflavones are genestein and daidzein.Buy a brand that has up to 40 mg of isoflavones Use this quantity daily.

Ionic Minerals

The prostate needs minerals. Adding these to your prostate health diet is critical. You cannot have good prostate health without plenty of minerals and your regular diet cannot supply what you need.

In addition to these ionic minerals, you need to make sure you get plenty of zinc and selenium. The prostate has more zinc than any other part of the body. So take 15 – 20 mg per day and not to exceed 40 mg.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is another critical vitamin that you want to make sure you get plenty of. If you are out in the sun a lot, then you will not need to supplement with this vitamin. Otherwise, use up to 800 IU of this vitamin.

Vitamin E

This is the next most important vitamin you should supplement with. Use up to 400 mg per day of the natural mixed tocopherols. Clinical studies have shown that vitamin E can reduce and suppress prostate cancer cells.

Bottom Line: Use, beta sitosterol, isoflavones, minerals, vitamin D, and vitamin E in your prostate health diet and see improvements in your prostate symptoms and health.

Vitamin E May Not Be All That It is Cracked Up To Be

October 11, 2011

For years we have told our patients that large daily doses of vitamin E, long touted as a virtual wonder drug containing cancer-fighting anti-oxidants could protect against cancer, heart disease, dementia and other ailments, increase the risk for prostate cancer among middle-aged men.
In 2001 he National Institutes of Health launched a $119 million project to study prostate cancer after laboratory studies and some clinical data indicated that the anti-oxidant vitamin E and selenium might protect against prostate cancer, the second most common cancer and cancer killer in men.
The study followed more than 35,533 men age 50 or older at 427 sites in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. The men were divided into four groups who took daily doses of 400 international units of vitamin E and 200 micrograms of selenium; vitamin E and a placebo that looked like selenium; selenium and a placebo that looked like vitamin E; or two placebos.
An independent panel monitoring the experiment halted the study in 2008 when it became clear there was no benefit and indications emerged the supplements might be increasing the risk for prostate cancer and diabetes.

The analysis of data from more than 35,000 healthy men concluded that those who took vitamin E every day at the relatively large dose levels were 17 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer.
The study concluded that vitamin E is unlikely to help prevent prostate cancer but it apparently could harm the very men who were taking the vitamin for its beneficial effect.

The findings were recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and are the latest in a series of carefully designed experiments that have found that vitamins and other dietary supplements are useless or possibly dangerous.
Bottom Line: If you are taking vitamin E, I suggest you discuss this with your physician and be certain that the beneficial effects are worth the increased risk of taking vitamin E.
Neil Baum is a urologist and a clinical faculty member at Tulane and LSU medical schools in New Orleans. He blogs at Blog: Dr. Neil Baum’s Urology Blog

An Apple a Day May Keep the Doctor Away-and Proscar or Avodart May Keep Prostate Cancer at Bay

October 23, 2010

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin malignancy in men and is responsible for more deaths than any other cancer, except for lung cancer. However, microscopic evidence of prostate cancer is found at autopsy in many if not most men. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimated that about 218,890 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed in the United States during 2007. About 1 man in 6 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, but only 1 man in 34 will die of it. More than 1.8 million men in the United States are survivors of prostate cancer.

There is some evidence that links exercise to better prostate health.  Exercise improves overall physical and mental health, so most medical professionals recommend at least a half an hour of exercise per week. Some studies indicate that regular exercise increases oxygen flow to the soft tissues of the body and helps to control glucose levels in the bloodstream. High levels of glucose may help fuel prostate cancer cells.

A healthy prostate diet is worth considering. High-fat and low-fiber diets and obesity seem to contribute to a higher risk of prostate cancer.  Some researchers believe that cancerous prostate cells can feed on fat, especially fats found in red meat and dairy products. Omega 3 fatty acids, found in fish, soy, and flaxseed is known as the “heart-healthy” fats. Now we believe that the Omega-3 fatty acids are prostate healthy as well. Countries, like China and Japan, whose diets are based on fish proteins rather than red meat have much lower rates of prostate cancer. Soy products include tofu, soymilk, soy creamers, soy yogurts, soy ice creams, and tofu burgers.  Red grapes, grape juice, green teas, and red wine contain anti-oxidants that can neutralize cancer-causing agents within the body. Lycopene found in tomatoes, and beta-carotene may be beneficial in helping to protect the body from the risk of prostate cancer.  Eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables may help boost the body’s cancer-fighting abilities.

Supplements such as vitamin E and selenium have been linked to a drastically decreased risk of prostate cancer. Studies of vitamin E and selenium seem to benefit those who were deficient in either Vitamin E or selenium, or who were ex-smokers. Studies have also noted that a daily regimen of aspirin or ibuprofen lowers risks of prostate cancer.

A few years ago a long-term study using the 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, Proscar or Avodart, lowers the risk of prostate cancer.  This study as well as others has shown a 25% reduction in prostate cancer.  However, the risk of developing a high-grade cancer or a more aggressive cancer was greater in those men taking finasteride as compared to a placebo or sugar pill.

So what is a man to do?  If you are at risk for prostate cancer, i.e., you have a relative such as a father, brother, uncle with prostate cancer, are Afro-American, or are obese and consume a high fat and meat diet, then you should talk to your doctor about prostate cancer prevention using one of the agents like Proscar or Avodart.  For the rest of the men: get an annual digital rectal exam and a PSA blood test once a year after age 50 or after age 40 if you are at high risk for prostate cancer.

Bottom Line: Knowledge is your best weapon for good prostate health and avoiding prostate cancer. Some lifestyles, eating habits, and dietary supplements are thought to lead to lower levels of prostate cancer, as well as other cancers. Nobody can guarantee prostate cancer prevention through behavior, diet, treatment, or medicine, but there are things you can do to improve your odds.