by Florence Lim, L.Ac., DAOM
Did you know that prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States? Here are some dietary do's and don'ts for promoting overall health and preventing prostate conditions in the long run:
Eat more anti-oxidant rich fruits, especially citrus!
In a long-term study aimed at lifestyle and diet intervention for 142,239 men participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition from 8 European countries. After average follow—up time of 13.9 years, 7,036 prostrate cancer cases were identified. Those in the highest 5th of total fruit intake had a significantly reduced prostate cancer risk. No associations between fruit sub types and prostate cancer risk were observed, except for citrus fruits, where a significant trend was found. This prospective study concluded that a higher fruit intake was associated with a small reduction in prostate cancer risk. (Int J Cancer. 2017 Jul 15; 141 (2): 287-297).
Switch from Black Tea to Green Tea!
In Asian countries with a high per capita consumption of green tea, prostate cancer mortality rates are among the lowest in the world, and the risk of prostate cancer appears to be increased among Asian men who abandon their original dietary habits upon migrating to the United States.
Laboratory, preclinical, and early-phase clinical trials have identified EGCG (one of a few types of green tea catechins (GTCs), which are a group of poly phenol compounds found in green tea that exhibit many health benefits) as one of the most potent modulators of molecular pathways thought to be relevant to prostate carcinogenics. EGCG has been shown to act as an androgen antagonist and can suppress prostate cancer cell proliferation, suppress production of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) by prostate cancer cells, and demonstrate potent and selective pro-apoptotic activity in prostate cancer cell lines in vitro.
Oral intake of either a GTC solution or EGCG alone was associated with significant reductions in tumor size, reduced multiplicity, and reduced development of prostate cancer in studies with transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate (TRAMP) mice.
Increase lycopene-rich foods such as tomatoes, watermelon, and pink grapefruit
Data demonstrate that higher dietary and circulating lycopene concentrations are inversely associated with prostate cancer risk. However, lycopene was not associated with a reduced risk of advanced prostate cancer. That is why prevention is key.
The 3 following food groups you should eat less of for prostate health:
1. Saturated and trans fats
Research has linked increased intake of saturated and trans fat with higher risk of prostate cancer, and such foods should be avoided:
Saturated fats comes from mainly animal sources of food, such as red meat, poultry, and dairy products in general. Many baked and fried foods such as cakes, cookies, crackers, and microwave popcorn also contain high levels of saturated fats.
Trans fats are primarily found in processed foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils and are usually listed in the ingredients list. Foods such as doughnuts, cakes, pie crusts, margarine, and other spreads are often high in trans fat. Trans fat
2. Dairy products:
Studies suggest that high total calcium intake from dairy products such as milk, cheese, and butter may be associated with increased risk of advanced and metastatic prostate cancer, compared with lower intake of calcium. Supplemental calcium and nondairy calcium were not associated with an increased risk, although supplemental calcium was associated with an increased risk of fatal prostate cancer.
3. Sugary beverages, including fruit juice
Some studies show that higher intake of fruit juice is associated with 58% increased prostate cancer risk.
In American adults, with central adiposity (tendency towards fat accumulation in the abdominal area), higher sugary beverage consumption is associated with increased prostate cancer risk. Therefore, avoiding sugary beverages is a simple dietary modification that can not only improve your overall health, but also reduce your risk for prostate conditions in the future.
This health advice is for all of our male patients, whether you are a father or not. As always, we believe that a healthy diet and lifestyle combined with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are the best ways to prevent disease and maintain optimal health! Wishing everyone a Happy Father's Day from TCM Healing Center!