Vitamin D: Questions And Answers
In This Section
A persons vitamin D level is checked by measuring the amount of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the blood.
Vitamin D is made by the body when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D may also be eaten in food or taken in dietary supplements.
For information on laboratory and animal studies done using vitamin D, see the Laboratory/Animal/Preclinical Studies section of the health professional version of Prostate Cancer, Nutrition, and Dietary Supplements.
Population studies and clinical trials have been done to study the effects of vitamin D on prostate cancer. The results of these studies have been mixed. Some studies have shown a link between Vitamin D levels and prostate cancer, and others have not. There is not enough evidence to know whether vitamin D can prevent prostate cancer.
Exercise Caution Before Employing Natural Remedies In Lieu Of Medicine Therapy
Coping with prostate disease is never easy. You may find that established treatments are not always particularly effective and you may want to try other more natural methods for prostate cancer, such as herbs and supplements. But you should use them with caution, and always check with your doctor before taking any new type of medication.
An estimated one-third of American men with prostate cancer use at least one form of complementary medicine therapy, including herbs and supplements. Some studies have suggested herbs and supplements might help with prostate cancer treatment and support. But the main concern is that some herbs and supplements can interact with each other, or with your prescribed medications. For example, they may enhance the effects of some medications or negate any benefit.
One of the most common interactions involves herbs like St. John’s wort that affect the liver by acting on cytochrome P450 enzymes, which metabolize drugs.
Other herbs, like saw palmetto, which some men take for benign prostatic hyperplasia and melatonin supplements, which some men take in hopes it will slow the progression of prostate cancer, may increase their risk of bleeding when taken with other drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, anticoagulants, or antiplatelet medications.
Another issue is that it’s not 100% clear if herbs and supplements might protect against prostate cancer or slow its growth. There are also concerns they may even increase your risk.
Regular Cancer Screenings Save Lives
Many types of cancer can be detected early, leading to better outcomes. And some people should be screened more often than others. For example, family history can increase your risk, and some cancers are more common among certain racial and ethnic groups. Your doctor will create a personalized screening schedule based on your risk factors. And your electronic health record will keep track of your screenings and let you know when its time for the next one.
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Are There Any Foods I Should Eat Less Of
You may have heard that eating a lot of certain foods may be harmful for men with prostate cancer, including:
- dairy foods and calcium
- red or processed meat
With all of these foods, some studies have suggested they might be harmful for men with prostate cancer, but other studies havent found a link. This means we cant say for sure whether eating less of these foods can help.
Theres no need to cut these foods out of your diet completely. We need more research to fully understand their effect on prostate cancer, but you can still eat most of these foods in moderate amounts as part of a healthy, balanced diet. However, the World Cancer Research Fund recommends avoiding processed meat, as it can increase your risk of some other types of cancer.
Energy Consumption And Prostate Cancer
Total energy consumption may be another important factor in the development of prostate cancer. Excessive caloric intake, regardless of its source, may lead to obesity, which correlates with an increased risk of prostate cancer.
Mukherjee et al demonstrated that in castrated and noncastrated mice, regardless of castration , all of the groups in which energy intake was restricted developed cancers that were smaller and slower growing, had decreased microvessel density, and had a decreased cell-proliferation index. In this study, cancer cells from the Dunning R3327-H and from LNCaP were transplanted into severe combined immunodeficiency mice. Diet was not restricted in one group. A second group was castrated and subdivided into 2 subgroupsone with an energy-intake restriction of 20% and one with a restriction of 40%. Finally, another group was not castrated but had caloric restriction.
On the basis of the results of a transgenic mouse model, Huffman et al concluded that the ability of caloric restriction to inhibit cancer development and progression is partially mediated by changes in energy balance, body mass, and body composition rather than just caloric intake. This implies that the risk of developing prostate cancer depends more on excess caloric retention, which leads to obesity, rather than just excessive caloric consumption.
Also Check: Michael Milken Prostate Cancer Diet
Is Sea Moss Good For The Prostate
There is some preliminary evidence to suggest that sea moss may be beneficial for the prostate. One study found that a compound in sea moss called carrageenan was effective in reducing inflammation and swelling in the prostate of rats.
Sea moss also includes anti-inflammatory chemicals that may reduce the chance of prostate cancer. However, more research is needed to understand the potential role of sea moss in prostate health.
Dietary Nutrients Nutrient Testing And Supplements
All of the dietary nutrients that may reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer are readily available. Whether substituting or adding dietary supplements is advantageous continues to be investigated. The general consensus is that any nutrient that is contained in food is better than an dietary supplement. In addition, several dietary supplements that are marketed as antioxidents have the potential, if used in excess, to increase the risk and/or progression of prostate cancer. No high-quality study has shown that any supplement can significantly reduce the risk for, or progression of, prostate cancer.
However, quantifying the amount of these nutrients in serum and tissues has been difficult. Therefore, the necessary amount of a given supplement is unknown. Conflicting reports that are confusing to the public and to physicians frequently appear in the media. Differences in study populations, methodology, and interpretation of data complicate the comparison of studies.
The reliability of nutrient testing is also an issue. Countless nutrient or antioxidant tests are offered today to consumers who are concerned about cancer, yet the validity of many of these testsespecially as they relate to cancer and other hard endpointsis unknown. Unanswered questions include the following:
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Overview Of Cam Use In Prostate Cancer
- Men who have prostate cancer are more likely to take dietary supplements and eat certain foods than men who do not have prostate cancer.
- Men who have prostate cancer and who have healthy eating habits are more likely to take dietary supplements.
- Men who have prostate cancer use CAM treatments to help boost the immune system, improve quality of life, and lower the risk of the cancer coming back, but only half of them tell their doctors about their use of CAM.
Studies of CAM use to lower prostate cancer risk or to prevent it from coming back have shown the following:
- A study of men with a family history of prostate cancer found that over half used vitamins or other dietary supplements for prostate health or to prevent cancer.
- A study of men at a prostate cancer screening clinic found that over half took multivitamins and some took herbal supplements.
- A study of prostate cancer survivors found that up to one-third took vitamins or minerals.
Dairy Foods And Calcium
Some research has shown that men who have a diet high in calcium may have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. And men may be more likely to have prostate cancer that is more advanced or aggressive. But there is no evidence to say that excluding dairy foods and calcium from the diet will slow the growth of prostate cancer, or reduce the risk of the cancer coming back.
Men with prostate cancer should aim for a healthy balanced diet that includes adequate amounts of calcium. It plays an important part in the way our bodies work. For example it helps keep our bones strong and healthy and helps our muscle to work.
Adults need 700 mg of calcium each day, which most people can get from a balanced healthy diet. Choose low fat and low sugar dairy products.
Good sources of calcium include
- dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurts
- tinned fish that contains the bones, for example, salmon or sardines
- green leafy vegetables
- nuts such as almonds and brazil nuts
- seeds such as sesame seeds
Its difficult to give examples of specific amounts. But a daily 700mg of calcium could include all of the following:
- a small tin of pilchards or sardines
- a 50g portion of broccoli
- 200 mls of milk
It is particularly important if you are having hormone therapy to have adequate amounts of calcium. This is because bone thinning is a side effect of this treatment.
Talk to your GP if you are struggling to eat a balanced diet and ask whether you need to take supplements.
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Vitamin E And Prostate Cancer: Where Do We Stand
It seems like ancient history, but only about a decade has elapsed since the peak of the antioxidant vitamin boom. The enthusiasm was certainly understandable. It began with the observation that people who eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains all rich in antioxidants enjoy substantial protection from cancer and heart disease. Next, laboratory and animal experiments showed that antioxidants could protect DNA from damage by oxygen-free radicals, potentially reducing genetic errors that cause cancer. The animal research also showed that antioxidants could protect arteries by preventing the oxidative damage to LDL cholesterol that puts the “bad” into bad cholesterol.
Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for the boom to go bust. A series of large randomized clinical trials found that antioxidant supplements do not reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and they may even interfere with some cholesterol-lowering medications. Similarly, supplements do not reduce overall deaths from cancer, and one antioxidant, beta carotene, actually increases the risk of lung cancer in male smokers.
After reviewing all the information, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended against routine vitamin use to prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. It’s a sound recommendation, but a study published just a few weeks later reminds us that the issue is not fully resolved, at least as far as vitamin E and prostate cancer is concerned.
More Patients Are Saying Bottoms Up To Nutritional Cocktail Supplements For Prostate Cancer As A Way To Further Support Prostate Health
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer for man, second only to non-melanoma skin cancer. It is also one of the leading causes of death from cancer among all races, as well as among Hispanic men, and has patients clamoring for the best combination of supplements for prostate cancer.
Furthermore, more than 31,000 men died from prostate cancer in 2018 . Additionally, more than 211,000 new cases of prostate cancer were reported in that same year.1 Given these numbers, it should not be surprising to see many men looking toward vitamins and other nutritional supplements to help boost their immune systems against development or progression of prostate cancer, or to help offset symptoms associated with treatments such as chemotherapy.
Lets take a closer look at the popularity of vitamins and supplements for prostate health, as well as the trend toward prostate cocktails, or a mixture of nutritional supplements to achieve optimal results.
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How Do Prostate Issues Affect Me
While BPH is a natural part of aging, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the uncomfortable side effects of an enlarged prostate. Such side effects include frequent urination, bladder retention , weak urine flow, etc. Prostatitis includes similar symptoms but often comes with pain and cloudy urine. And, finally, prostate cancer typically involves all of the above urinary symptoms along with constant pain in the pelvic region and ranks as the second leading cause of cancer-related death among men.
So, what can be done to reduce the risk of developing prostate diseases? Below, well examine some simple dietary changes that can improve prostate health.
All About Elm & Rye Sea Moss Supplement
Image courtesy Elm & Rye
Elm & Rye sea moss capsules are composed of only wildcrafted ingredients. It has a long list of health advantages, including thyroid function, immunity, gut health, weight loss, heart health, digestive system health, and skin appearance improvement. More study is required to evaluate its impact.
There are many various types of supplements on the market. Not all supplements are created equal, and Elm & Rye routinely send them to third-party laboratories for analysis. Then they make the findings public for complete transparency.
Elm & Rye only utilize 100% pure and high-quality components in our formulations. There are no superfluous additives, fillers, or other nonsense in any of our products. These elements collaborate to create a superior formulation and attitude that may help you live a more productive life.
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Other Studies Of Beta Carotene
In 1996, a study called CARET confirmed the adverse effect of beta carotene on lung cancer in smokers, but it did not find any effect on the risk of prostate cancer. That same year, Harvard’s Physicians’ Health Study reported that beta carotene provided no protection against heart disease, but the supplement did not increase the risk of lung cancer, probably because all the subjects were physicians and only 11% were smokers. As in the CARET study, though, beta carotene did not increase the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, it appeared to reduce the risk in men with very low dietary consumption of carotenoids.
It didn’t take long for beta carotene supplements to move from the good column to the bad, at least for men who smoke. Indeed, that’s where it belongs. But vitamin E has also changed columns. When it comes to heart disease, that shift is justified, but a possible benefit against prostate cancer has not been ruled out.
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1Kaiser Permanente 2021 HEDIS scores. Benchmarks provided by the National Committee for Quality Assurance Quality Compass® and represent all lines of business. Kaiser Permanente combined region scores were provided by the Kaiser Permanente Department of Care and Service Quality. The source for data contained in this publication is Quality Compass 2021 and is used with the permission of NCQA. Quality Compass 2021 includes certain CAHPS data. Any data display, analysis, interpretation, or conclusion based on these data is solely that of the authors, and NCQA specifically disclaims responsibility for any such display, analysis, interpretation, or conclusion. Quality Compass® and HEDIS® are registered trademarks of NCQA. CAHPS is a registered trademark of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Lycopene: Questions And Answers
Lycopene is a carotenoid . It mixes with or dissolves in fats. Lycopene protects plants from light-related stress and helps them use the energy of the sun to make nutrients. Lycopene is found in fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, apricots, guavas, and watermelons.
The main source of lycopene in the United States is tomato-based products. Lycopene is easier for the body to use when it is eaten in processed tomato products like tomato paste and tomato puree than in raw tomatoes.
Lycopene may be eaten in food or taken in dietary supplements.
For information on laboratory and animal studies done using lycopene, see the Laboratory/Animal/Preclinical Studies section of the health professional version of Prostate Cancer, Nutrition, and Dietary Supplements.
Population studies and clinical trials have been done to find out if lycopene can prevent or treat prostate cancer. Clinical trials have shown mixed results some studies have shown a lower risk of prostate cancer or a decrease in prostate-specific antigen level, and others have not. There is not enough evidence to know whether lycopene can prevent or treat prostate cancer.
Population and combined studies