Posts Tagged ‘prostate cancer’

10 Steps to Treating and Preventing Prostate Disease

If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer or benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), you may have more options than you think.

In addition to traditional pharmaceutical drugs, surgery, and radiation therapy there are a number of dietary and lifestyle changes you can make, says Aaron Katz, MD, Vice-Chairman of Urology and Director of the Center of Holistic Urology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

Dr. Katz is the author of Dr. Katz’ Guide to Prostate Health: From Conventional to Holistic Therapies.

In the May issue of American Legion magazine, I provide Dr. Katz’s 10 dietary strategies and lifestyle choices for treating and preventing prostate disease.

Dietary Strategies

1. Cut the fat.

Studies suggest that dietary fat intake and prostate cancer incidence are intimately related.

Eat a diet composed of less than 30% fat and favor unsaturated fats such as olive and canola oils over saturated and trans fats.

2. Improve your omega-6/omega-3 ratio.

Omega-3 fats (found in fatty deep-water fish and flax seeds) appear to protect the prostate, while omega-6 fats (found in vegetable oils) may have a disease-promoting effect.

Eat lots of salmon, sardines, cod, and ground flax seeds, and avoid foods made with vegetables oils like corn and soy.

3. Go organic.

Your best chance of avoiding contaminants in your food is to eat a largely organic and vegetarian diet.

Organic foods are raised, grown, and produced without the use of chemical pesticides, hormones, or drugs.

4. Fill up on fiber.

Research shows an inverse relationship between prostate cancer incidence and intake of dietary fiber.

Up your fiber intake by eating one big green salad every day, breakfasting on a bowl of steel-cut or slow-cooked oats, and switching from refined to whole grains.

5. Eat your antioxidants.

Free radical damage to DNA has been linked to many cancers, including prostate cancer.

Eat lots of foods rich in antioxidants – which protect cells against free radicals — such as leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and deeply colored fruits, especially berries.

Lifestyle Choices

1. Reduce your stress.

Stress amplifies the production of free radicals, hampers the function of the immune system, and has been linked with premature aging.

Try stress reduction techniques such as progressive relaxation, deep breathing, visualization, or meditation.

2. Laugh.

Researchers at UCLA are currently studying the ability of humor to blunt stress-induced physiological changes.

Laughter also releases the body’s natural opiates into the bloodstream, dulling pain and improving mood.

So head to the video store and pick out some funny movies.

3. Exercise regularly.

Moderate exercise increases the body’s production of antioxidant substances and mildly boosts immune function.

Try to fit in three or more workouts per week.

Men undergoing treatment for cancer or BPH may be better off sticking with very gentle exercise like yoga, tai chi, or chi kung.

4. Detoxify your home.

Trade out your conventional cleaning products for non-toxic alternatives, your garden pesticides for pest-eating bugs, and your synthetic carpets for natural ones like wool.

5. Design your space.

When colors, light, decoration, sounds, objects, and overall design are pleasing to our senses, it’s much easier to relax and enjoy yourself.

Feng shui is an effective tool for making your surroundings less stressful and more health-promoting.

How Vitamin D Levels Relate to Fertility and Prostate Cancer

If you want to conceive a child, just take a holiday in the sun since sunlight boosts fertility in both men and women by increasing their levels of vitamin D.

That’s how the media interpreted the results of a recent systematic review of the connection between vitamin D and fertility.

The new findings, say the pundits, mean that some infertile couples may be undergoing unnecessary and costly fertility treatments when spending time in the sun could be their answer.

There are some hints that vitamin D, the so-called “sunshine vitamin,” can help balance sex hormones in women and improve sperm counts in men.

Other studies show some evidence supporting a role of vitamin D in prostate cancer.

However, the evidence for the role of vitamin D in both fertility and prostate cancer is mixed, at best.

For more on my interpretation of the data, check out the piece I wrote for the American Fertility Association.