Other Studies On Vitamin E And Prostate Cancer
A 1999 cohort study published in the journal, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention showed that vitamin E supplementation can reduce the risk of prostate cancer, especially among smokers.
A 2007 study published in the same journal showed that gamma-tocopherol obtained from diet outperforms alpha-tocopherol supplement and can indeed reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
A paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States of America in 2002 showed that vitamin E improved prostate health and reduced the risk of prostate cancer by suppressing PSA and androgen receptors in the prostate.
Large studies seem to agree that vitamin E supplementation reduces the risk of prostate cancer among smokers even when there is no consensus on such protection among non-smokers.
Vitamin K also refers to a group of fat-soluble compounds. The 2 natural vitamers of vitamin K are vitamin K1 or phylloquinone and vitamin K2 or menaquinone.
Unlike the synthetic vitamins K3, K4 and K5, these natural forms of vitamin K are non-toxic.
The anticancer effects of vitamin K are well-studied. It has been shown to be useful in the prevention and treatment of cancers affecting the liver, lung, breast, colon, stomach and the oral cavity.
The combination of vitamins C and K had 5 20 times the efficacy of each of the two vitamins in the treatment of prostate cancer.
This long-term, cohort study tested the anticarcinogenic activities of vitamin K1 and K2.
Use A Prostate Support Supplement
The most clinically tested herbs to improve prostate and urinary health include saw palmetto, pygeum and cranberry. Cranberry fruit is recognized as a rich source of oligosaccharides and phytochemicals, including proanthocyanidins, flavonols, and triterpenoids.
Saw palmetto inhibits 5-alpha reductase the enzyme that reduces testosterone to the more potent androgen dihydrotestosterone . The use of pygeum dates back approximately 300 years, and extracts are a well-known and often-used alternative for supporting prostate health in many European countries.
As previously discussed, zinc is also very important and clinical doses range between 30-80 mg daily depending upon their plasma zinc levels and copper:zinc ratio. I use a highly absorbable form of zinc glycinate chelate. It is in my prostate formula along with vitamin B6 and powerful herbs such as saw palmetto, pygeum and more. This product is called Prosta Protect
Zinc For Prostate Cancer May Not Be A Good Idea
Nutrition-focused medical practitioners have advised men with prostate cancer to take supplemental zinc for so long that few can still remember where this practice originated. Several papers now suggest zinc may actually be ill advised for these patients to take.
Zinc levels in the prostate gland are higher than in any other soft tissue of the body, so it was easy to assume that zinc is important for prostate function and health. On top of this, zinc levels in healthy prostate tissue are almost 7 times as high as in prostate cancer tissue.1 Several cell culture studies reported that the addition of supplemental zinc inhibited prostate cancer cell growth.
Iguchi reported in 1998 that addition of zinc triggers necrosis in prostate cancer cells.2 Liang reported in 1999 that zinc inhibits human prostatic carcinoma cell growth, possibly due to induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. There now exists strong evidence that the loss of a unique capability to retain high levels of zinc is an important factor in the development and progression of malignant prostate cells.3 Zinc was reported to inhibit prostate cancer invasion.4 It was not unreasonable to think that taking zinc might have similar actions on prostate cancer in men as it does on prostate cancer cells in petri dishes. And so men started to take zinc supplements. Lots of zinc supplements.
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Is Zinc Good For An Enlarged Prostate
We have already noted that zinc plays a role in the immune system. We also cited a study that showed how zinc modulated certain transcription factors and, in turn, has a role in inflammatory responses.
Another study, published in the Journal of Inflammopharmacology, looked at how zinc affected inflammatory responses throughout the entire human body.
The researchers behind the study explain that the mineral zinc influences the specific immune responses that are involved in inflammation. Appropriate levels of the zinc mineral in the human body seem to exhibit an anti-inflammatory effect.
Since it has been established that zinc does play a role in the regulation of inflammatory responses, we can proceed to look at what an enlarged prostate is.
While the cause behind this condition still remains a mystery in many cases, researchers do know that an enlarged prostate means there is inflammation affecting this particular gland.
A clinical trial, published in the Indian Journal of Urology, looked at the zinc status of patients who had previously been diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia . There was also a group of patients with prostate carcinoma involved in the study the same tests were performed on participants in this group.
Levels of zinc were measured in prostate tissue. Researchers also tested the zinc/creatinine ratio in the urine of all participants who were part of the study.
The Role Of Zinc In Normal Prostate Function And Metabolism
To produce and secrete high levels of citrate, the prostate accumulates high levels of zinc in specialized acinar epithelial cells of the peripheral zone. Zinc levels and citrate metabolism are linked in the prostatic gland. Zinc inhibits mitochondrial aconitase . M-aconitase is responsible for the catalyzation of the oxidation of citrate to isocitrate as part of the first step in the Krebs cycle. The inhibitory effect of zinc results in the accumulation of citrate in the mitochondria before it is exported to the cytosol and secreted as a major component of prostatic fluid . Thus, the high levels of zinc in the prostate ensure the inhibition of M-aconitase while zinc that occurs outside the prostate in lower levels cannot act as a competitive inhibitor . The zinc transporter ZIP1 is responsible for the uptake of zinc into prostate cells. The upregulation of ZIP expression in prostate cells ensures the accumulation of zinc in the prostate , a process that may be regulated by testosterone and prolactin .
Intriguingly, both zinc and citrate are diminished in prostate cancer, implicating an essential role of high zinc levels for maintaining a non-malignant prostate.
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Potential Side Effects Of Zinc
Compared to other metal ions, zinc is relatively harmless. Only exposure to excessive amounts of zinc will result in toxicity. Zinc intoxication is an extremely rare event.
The human body usually contains anywhere between 2 to 3 grams of zinc, 90% of which is found in the muscles and bones. When zinc is ingested, it travels to the small intestine where it is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream.
Zinc toxicity interferes with the absorption of copper as well, leading to signs and symptoms of copper deficiency. These are the signs and symptoms of zinc toxicity:
There are three main ways in which zinc can enter the human body. These are:
- Through the Skin
- Oral Ingestion
Inhalation of zinc is typically only experienced by industrial workers, such as those in manufacturing. Inhalation of zinc causes metal fume fever, which causes fever, muscle aches, fatigue, chest pain, cough, and shortness of breath.
Another unconventional way in which zinc is absorbed is through the skin. Zinc is a well-known supplement that has been used to treat wounds topically, as it promotes wound healing. However, the concentrations of zinc in these supplements are not significant enough for skin absorption to be considerable.
Because zinc is a trace element, oral intake of sufficient quantities is essential for survival. The recommended dietary allowance of zinc is 11mg/day for men and 8mg/day for women. There are several naturally occurring sources of zinc :
Zinc Protects Dna Integrity In The Prostate
The general functions of zinc in the maintenance of DNA integrity may be also very important for prostate health. Zinc depletion in cells including normal prostate epithelial cells increased DNA strand breaks , and dietary zinc depletion also elevated DNA damage in rat testes or monkey livers . Our lab have recently shown that dietary zinc depletion in health men significantly increased DNA damage in peripheral blood cells, and zinc repletion reversed the DNA damage back to the baseline levels . Since zinc is an essential component in numerous transcription factors, antioxidant defense enzymes and DNA repair proteins, zinc may protect DNA integrity through two different mechanisms: 1) zinc has antioxidant properties and suppresses the generation of oxidative damage 2) zinc is essential for DNA damage responses and help repair DNA damage or remove damaged cells .
Secondly, zinc deficiency may impair DNA repair functions. Many proteins involved in DNA repair pathways are zinc-containing metalloproteins, such as tumor suppressor gene p53, Xeroderma pigmentosum A , Replication Protein A , and poly ADP ribose polymerase . These proteins are involved in DNA repair pathways of damage recognition, nuclear excision repair or base excision repair . Since zinc is essential for the function of some DNA repair proteins, zinc depletion may impair the activity of these proteins and interfere with the DNA repair functions.
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The Nutritional Prevention Of Cancer Trial
To learn if selenium supplements might reduce the risk of recurrent skin cancer, a team of scientists working at seven American health centers gave either 200 micrograms of selenium or a placebo to 1,312 volunteers with an average age of 63 the participants took their tablets daily for an average of four and a half years. When the results were analyzed in 1996, the researchers were disappointed to learn that there was no difference in the occurrence of skin cancer in the two groups, but they were startled to find that there were 50% fewer cancer deaths in the selenium group. Selenium was linked to a significant reduction in deaths from lung, colon, esophageal, and prostate cancer protection appeared strongest for prostate cancer, with 63% fewer deaths in the men who took selenium. There were no cases of selenium toxicity. These results were greeted with great interest but also with caution some doctors felt they were too good to be true, and most stressed the need for further research.
What Vitamins And Minerals Are Good For Your Prostate
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia is extremely common in men over the age of 50 and the symptoms, such as frequent and urgent urination, can interfere with day-to-day life.
Diet provides a means of managing and even preventing these symptoms, but a few vitamins and minerals are particularly beneficial. These include:
Read on to find out why these vitamins and minerals are so helpful and how you can get more of them in your diet.
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What Happens When We Don’t Get Enough Zinc
Zinc deficiency symptoms can be severe. In children who are zinc-deficient, the most debilitating deficiency symptom is diarrhea. Gastrointestinal disturbances caused by zinc deficiency can cause dehydration and death. In adults and in children who get viral infections, the most serious consequence of zinc deficiency is pneumonia. Pneumonia continues to be a leading cause of death all over the world, even in North America and Europe.
Prostate Health And Supplements: Know The Facts
However, not all prostate problems are life threatening. In fact, as the prostate gland tends to grow larger with age, its not uncommon for men over 50 years old to experience some type of prostate issue .
Still, even the symptoms of noncancerous prostate issues, such as painful urination and ejaculation, can greatly affect quality of life .
Supplements are often advertised to support prostate health or help reduce symptoms that are associated with prostate conditions, but you may wonder whether these products are effective.
This article reviews the safety and efficacy of several common ingredients found in prostate supplements.
- Acute or chronic prostatitis. This is characterized by inflammation of the prostate. In some cases, prostatitis is caused by a bacterial infection, while other times the cause is unknown.
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia . This noncancerous enlargement of the prostate often leads to lower urinary tract symptoms. Its one of the most common conditions in older men.
- Prostate cancer. This form of cancer develops in the prostate. Its the fourth leading cause of death in men worldwide.
While the early stages of prostate cancer may be asymptomatic, prostate problems are often accompanied by uncomfortable symptoms, such as (
- the frequent urge to urinate
- waking up in the middle of the night to urinate
- erectile dysfunction
- pain in the lower back, hips, or pelvic area
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Supplementing Zinc For Maintaining Adequate Zinc Levels In Older Men: Not All The Sources Of Zinc Are Alike
Taken together, more than 50% of men over 60 suffer from BPH, and also have low zinc status. Thus, there is a strong case for establishing a program of zinc supplementation in men over 50 due to the endogenous and exogenous factors presented above. Several studies showed that the treatment of malignant prostate cells with zinc that will increase cellular zinc levels leads to the inhibition of cell proliferation, promotion of apoptosis, and inhibition of cell migration and invasion . However, there are many options available for supplementation, and choosing the correct supplement may be critical to achieving effects in prostate tissues.
The way of cellular uptake and the protection from sequestering by metallothionines, as well as slower excretion profiles may give organic zinc supplements such as ZnAAs an advantage that could be especially beneficial for older individuals. In particular, because older individuals may have restricted dietary habits with nutrients low in zinc or with high concentrations of uptake antagonists. In addition, medications that are taken and that limit zinc availability may be less disruptive for ZnAAs. Besides, metallic amino acid complexes have been used as human supplements and have a long history of safety and efficacy. They are frequently used as a mineral supplement for animals, where extensive research data shows their effectiveness and advantages over inorganic supplements.
Lifestyle Tips For Managing Bph
Lifestyle tips that may help someone manage the symptoms of an enlarged prostate include the following:
- Attempt to urinate at least once before leaving home to avoid urinary leakage or other incidents in public that can be very stressful and embarrassing.
- Double void by trying to urinate again a few minutes after urinating the first time, to drain the bladder as much as possible during bathroom visits.
- Try not to drink fluids in the 2 hours before bedtime to avoid going to sleep with a full bladder.
- Try to stay hydrated by drinking at least 2 liters of water daily.
- Try maintaining a healthy body weight as much as possible.
- Exercise regularly and as often as possible.
- Try not to drink too much at one time.
- Try to reduce or avoid stress to reduce the urge for urination.
- Avoid or limit products that cause dehydration, such as cold medications and decongestants
- Use absorbent urinary pads or pants to absorb urine leaks and decrease wetness and discomfort.
- Use urinary sheaths, which are condom-shaped and fit over the penis to drain urine into a small bag strapped to the leg.
- Use urethral massage, after urinating, by gently pressing the fingers upwards from the base of the scrotum to try to squeeze out any urine left in the urethra and prevent any leakage later.
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Ways To Improve Your Prostate:
Here are 12 key steps to follow in order to healthy prostate function. If you apply these principles and do not see a significant change in your prostatic health as well as your mood, energy, weight and libido than I would highly recommend working with a natural health care practitioner.
A good practitioner can run functional labs to assess for a chronic infection or environmental toxin exposure that may be holding you back from achieving your health goals.
Zinc Transporter And Prostate Cancer
Zinc homeostasis is likely maintained by the activities of a group of zinc transporters in the cell plasma membrane and intracellular organelles. At least ten ZnT and fourteen Zip family members have been identified in mammals, and their tissue expression, cellular localization and regulation are very different .
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Zinc Imposes Apoptogenic Effects And Suppresses Tumor Progression
Zinc depletion induces apoptosis in some mammalian cells. The possible mechanisms include defects in growth factor signaling pathways, activation of caspases and induction of the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis . However, zinc has opposite effects on cell growth in the prostate zinc in the prostate induces mitochondrial apoptogenesis and reduces cell growth. Costello et al evaluated the effects of exposure to the physiological levels of zinc on mitochondrial apoptogenesis in three human cancer cell lines, PC-3, BPH and HPR-1 . They found that zinc only induced apoptosis in PC-3 and BPH which both maintained the capacity of accumulating high intracellular zinc, but not in HPR-1 which lost its zinc accumulation ability. The effects of zinc on apoptosis in the prostate cancer cells may be exerted through the modulation of the expression of Bax and its binding with mitochondria membrane and the subsequent releasing of cytochrome c from mitochondria .
Studies done by Kolenko VM et al suggested that zinc may suppress prostatic tumor progression by decreasing NFB activity and the subsequent expression of angiogenic and pro-metastatic cytokines VEGF, IL-6 and IL-8 .
Vitamin E And The Select Trials
The most damning study linking vitamin E to an increased risk of prostate cancer is the SELECT trials.
This large, multi-center study involved more than 35,000 men and some of its results were published in 2011 in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
SELECT or selenium and vitamin E cancer prevention trial concluded that dietary supplementation of vitamin E can significantly increase the risk of prostate cancer among healthy men.
However, this study is deeply flawed and other studies before and after it did not replicate this conclusion. First, only one form of the eight vitamers of vitamin E was used in the SELECT study. This vitamer is alpha-tocopherol, and it is not as active as gamma-tocopherol.
Secondly, the result of the study showed that selenium reduces the risk of prostate cancer and the combination of selenium and vitamin E reduced this risk even further. This is a rather anomalous conclusion. If vitamin E increases the risk of cancer, the combination of selenium and vitamin E should perform lesser than selenium alone.
Lastly, the 17% significance reported was only a relative risk and not absolute risk. Even with the design faults and statistical errors of the SELECT study, vitamin E performed closer to placebo and selenium in absolute terms.
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