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Soy Improves Prostate Cancer Outlook
An Australian study suggests that soy products can help decrease the risk of prostate cancer progression. Twenty nine Australian men with prostate cancer who were waiting to undergo a radical prostatectomy. were divided into three groups to test how soy affects levels of hormones and prostate-specific antigen (PSA, which is used to screen for and track prostate cancer). One group was asked to eat bread made with soy grits, high in natural phytoestrogens. A second group also consumed high phytoestrogen bread but it was made with 50 grams of soy grits plus 20 grams of linseed. The third group consumed wheat bread, which is naturally low in phytoestrogens.
All three groups were told to eat four pieces of bread daily until surgery.
Although the study was small, it suggests that isoflavones in soy may be protective against prostate cancer.
China and Japan have some of the lowest rates of prostate cancer in the world, possibly due to the typically soy-rich diets in these countries. Isoflavones and phytoestrogens found in soybeans as well as the phytoestrogens and omega-3 fatty acids found in linseed oil have all been shown to have protective roles in prostate cancer development and progression.
Dalais FS, Meliala A, Wattanapenpaiboon N, Frydenberg M, Suter DA, Thomson WK, Wahlqvist ML. Effects of a diet rich in phytoestrogens on prostate-specific antigen and sex hormones in men diagnosed with prostate cancer. Urology. 2004 Sep;64(3):510-5.
Vegetables Reduce Risk for Prostate Cancer
Men who ate three or more servings of vegetables per day had a 48 percent lower risk of prostate cancer compared to those who ate less, according to researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, sauerkraut, and coleslaw possessed the strongest risk-reducing effect. It is believed that the array of phytochemicals in vegetables activate enzymes that help weaken cancer-causing agents in the body. The study looked at the associations of total fruit and vegetable consumption - as well as specific types of fruits and vegetables - with prostate cancer risk in 1,230 men aged 40 to 64. By studying younger men, researchers were better able to assess the impact of lifestyle factors such as diet on cancer risk.
Cohen JH, Kristal AR, Stanford JL. Fruit and vegetable intakes and prostate cancer risk. J Nat Can Ins 2000;92:61-8.
Dairy Products Linked to Prostate Cancer
A long-term study suggests an association between consumption of dairy products and the risk of prostate cancer. Researchers tracked more than 20,000 male physicians for 11 years and found a moderate elevation in prostate cancer risk associated with higher intake of five dairy products, including milk, cheese, and ice cream. Men who drank more than six glasses of milk per week had lower levels of vitamin D, which has been shown to protect the prostate. Milk-drinking also raises the amount of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) in the blood, which is linked to cancer risk.
Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Ma J, et al. Dairy products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk in the Physician's Health Study. Presented at the 91st Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, April 2000.
Dairy products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk in the Physicians' Health Study "A high calcium intake, mainly from dairy products, may increase prostate cancer risk by lowering concentrations of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D 3 [1,25(OH) 2 D 3 ], a hormone thought to protect against prostate cancer." Results of this 11 year study support that theory.
Cow's Milk and Dairy Foods as Risk for Prostate Cancer
Elevated IGF-I Levels Signal Breast and Prostate Cancer Risk
Just as high levels of cholesterol in the blood predict heart attacks, high levels of insulin-like growth factor, or IGF-I, are linked to cancer risk. Swedish researchers measured plasma samples in 149 men already diagnosed with the disease and for 298 men in a control group. The results showed cancer patients had significantly higher levels of IGF-I than healthy participants.
Similarly, a study reported in the International Journal of Cancer analyzed IGF-I levels in 172 premenopausal women and 115 postmenopausal women with breast cancer, compared to a control group free of the disease. In postmenopausal women, elevated IGF-I levels were not predictive of breast cancer risk; however, in premenopausal women they were. The finding suggests that high levels of IGF-I in women under 50 may signal future trouble. The good news is that IGF-I is exquisitely sensitive to diet. For example, vegans have lower IGF-I levels while daily use of two to three dairy servings boosts IGF-I levels by about 10 percent.
Stattin P, Bylund A, Rinaldi S, et al. Cancer risk: a prospective study. J Natl Cancer Inst 2000;92:1910-7.
Vegan Diet May Cut Risk of Prostate Cancer
British researchers report more evidence that a diet free of meat and dairy products may lower a man's risk for developing prostate cancer. The Oxford study of 696 men found that IGF-I levels were 9 percent lower in vegan men than in meat-eating men. IGF-I, insulin-like growth factor, is believed to play a key role in causing prostate cancer. The study also mentions previous population studies showing that countries with low consumption of animal products had lower rates of the disease. The American Cancer Society predicts that there will be about 180,400 new cases of cancer in the U.S. by the end of 2000. Approximately 31,900 men will die of the disease.
Allen NE, Appleby PN, Davey GK, Key TJ. Hormones and diet: low insulin-like growth factor-I but normal bioavailable androgens in vegan men. Br J Cancer 2000;83:95-7.
Veggies Cut Breast and Prostate Cancer Risk
Vegetables and fruits rich in beta-carotene can cut the risk of breast and prostate cancer. The findings were based on 83,234 participants in the Harvard Nurses' Health Study, and showed a particular benefit for younger women and those at risk due to a family history of cancer or regular alcohol use. A study of close to four thousand physicians showed that men with the lowest levels of beta-carotene in their blood had 45 percent greater risk of developing prostate cancer, compared to men with the highest blood levels. Lycopene, a cousin of beta-carotene that gives the red color to tomatoes and watermelon, is also associated with reduced risk, and carotenoid-rich foods are associated with better cancer survival. Here are some healthy sources of beta-carotene: broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, grapefruit, fresh spinach, and sweet potatoes.
Zhang S, Hunger DJ, Forman MR, et al. Dietary carotenoids and vitamins A, C, and E and risk of breast cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 1999;91:547-56.
Green Tea ABC newsman George Orick in Indonesia
Green Tea Shown to Prevent Prostate Cancer, Protects Men with Pre-Malignant Lesions After a year taking green tea catechins in pill form, only one man in a group of 32 at high risk for prostate cancer developed the disease, compared to nine out of 30 in a control, according to a team of Italian researchers... April 20, 2005.
Vitamin E Gamma in plant seeds could fight prostate, lung cancer, says Purdue scientist "Most nutritional supplements contain only alpha-tocopherol, a different form of vitamin E that alone does not have these anticancer properties. It may be better to supplement the diet with mixed forms of vitamin E. The study shows that the anticancer effect is enhanced when mixed forms are used."
Harvard study denies that fruits and veggies protect against cancer November 3, 2004. Although a diet high in fruits and vegetables (the currently recommended 5 or more a day) protects against cardiovascular disease, the study says, such a diet has no protective effect against cancer. This conclusion clashes with advice from American Cancer Society, which advises eating 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
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