Sound maintenance strategies
Ludovic Brunel, ND
Most men know little about the prostate gland, only that it can be the source of serious health problems and the reason behind unpleasant physical exams. Prostate cancer is the number one cancer threat to adult males; it will affect approximately one in seven men in their lifetime. Prevention is the best medicine.
Most men know little about the prostate gland, only that it can be the source of serious health problems and the reason behind unpleasant physical exams.
Shaped like a heart, the size of a golf ball, and located below the bladder, the prostate gland surrounds the urethra and is responsible for the production of seminal fluid.
We know that prostate cancer is the number one cancer threat to adult males; it will affect approximately one in seven men in their lifetime. We also know that prevention is the best medicine.
Prostate cancer is widespread in older men. Most disturbingly, the screening for prostate cancer has not yet proven effective at decreasing mortality; so what should we do?
Men have a poor track record when it comes to taking care of their health. Simply put, when it comes to men’s health, the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is too often true, and while that may work for a washing machine, it is a poor strategy when it comes to health. We have much to learn from airplane maintenance. With planes, everything must stay in working order; waiting for the problem to manifest itself is not a smart decision. Health should be viewed in a similar manner.
Prostate health can be encouraged through a variety of approaches. As with most health conditions, a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition represent the foundation to disease prevention. However, recent studies suggest that prevention through supplementation is also a sound strategy. The following nutrients have been shown to be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of prostatic difficulties.
The health benefits associated with this trace element are particularly noteworthy when it comes to prostate cancer. Prospective, animal, demographic, and intervention studies have demonstrated that selenium can be used to prevent malignancies and is especially helpful for liver, prostate, colorectal, and lung cancers.
Well known for its bone-building ability, boron is important for cell replication and development. The hypothesis that boron may prevent prostate cancer was reported in Oncology Reports (April, 2004) after it was observed at UCLA School of Public Health in Los Angeles that a higher intake of boron may be related to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Laboratory studies on human prostate cancer cell lines also show great promise.
A new insight to the aging process has been uncovered with the understanding of protein glycation and lipid peroxidation, both detrimental to the proper functioning of bodily tissue and leading to the accumulation of dysfunctional cells. The formation of advanced glycation end-products is prevented by amadorins, a new class of molecules including pyridoxamine and benfotiamine, two highly bioavailable B-vitamins.
New research suggests that protein glycation, the process by which sugar molecules permanently attach to the proteins found in our body, leads to the release of growth factors involved in prostate cancer progression. Amadorins prevent this detrimental reaction and may be useful for the prevention of prostate cancer.
Laboratory experiments have confirmed that vitamin E, one of the most promising chemopreventive agents, promotes cancer cell death. The International Journal of Cancer (2005) reported a study performed by researchers at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa, Florida that showed pancreatic cancer cell growth was suppressed with daily injections of vitamin E.
A recent epidemiological study among New York State men published in the Nutrition and Cancer Journal (2005) showed that higher lycopene intakes reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.
As our understanding of the human body improves, so does the arsenal of natural molecules capable of enhancing health and preventing disease. Prostate cancer is an excellent example.