Prostate Health, Prevention and Survival

Photo credit: alui0000Worried about prostate cancer? A healthy lifestyle incorporating the latest research into boosting longevity may slow down the development and progression of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer (PC) is now acknowledged as the second most common cancer in men in western countries including the US and Australia.  Historically the presence of PC was not associated with early death, and in fact most men at autopsy have demonstrable evidence of PC, with which they were coexisting.  The American Cancer Society say that more than 2.5 million men in the US who have been diagnosed with PC are still alive, while the annual death rate from the disease is around 28,000.  Roughly interpreted, that indicates that about 1 in 100 men diagnosed with PC are dying from the disease.

1. The Vitamin D link – prostate cancer incidence is much higher in geographical areas with low solar radiation.  Vitamin D testing is all the rage, so make sure your levels are well above the baseline minimum, either by healthy sun exposure or supplementation.  Regular monitoring advised.

2. There is no definitive conclusion about fat consumption being linked to PC. Research inclines toward recommending lower fat diets and links protection with a higher intake of “healthy oils” from fatty fish, and vegetable sources like avocado and pumpkin seeds.  But there is much more involved. Debate revolves around minimizing polyunsaturated oils which easily oxidise and are proinflammatory.  Inflammation promotes tumour growth.  Source fats and oils carefully and buy the best you can afford.  Cheap oils easily become harmful and are excellent carriers of environmental toxins.

3. The “food pharmacy” of evidence-based dietary ingredients to protect against PC or slow its development include:

  • turmeric (or its active extract, curcumin),
  • high fibre
  • ginger
  • green tea
  • pomegranate juice

4. More fruit and vegetables: for more antioxidants and phytonutrients favour dark leafy greens and orange and red vegetables.  Tomatoes, recommended for their high levels of lycopene, should be cooked.  They do not agree with everyone, being part of a group of foods known as “nightshades” which are linked with arthritis.  Most people are OK eating most fruit and vegetables on a rotated basis i.e. a couple of times a week.

5. Herbal supplements: saw palmetto, epilobium, pygeum, ginseng, nettle, horsetail (See note below)

6. Nutritional supplements: Vitamin D, vitamin E, selenium, zinc, fish oil (See note below)

7. Eat soy products intelligently. These should be the fermented variety, in particular miso, tempeh and natto (if you can acquire the taste).  Source from non-GMO and preferably organic. According to KT Daviel, in The Whole Soy Story, unfermented soy has been linked to digestive distress, immune problems including allergies, PMS and other reproductive system problems, ADHD.  Cancer risk is likely to be higher with unfermented soy, not lower.  This means avoiding soy milk and going easy on the tofu.

8. Include probiotics in the diet, best sourced from fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kim-chi, kefir, miso, tempeh but excellent supplements also available.  It may be the daily consumption of fermented, unpasteurized soy products that is the real “soyfoods paradox” linked with Japanese health statistics.  Read more about soy foods here.

For cancer prevention, many experts recommend drinking several cups of green tea daily.  Here’s an easy way to do that at home.

Green Ginger Tea, Hot or Iced6 cups boiling water3 green tea bags

Thumbnail size piece of fresh ginger, finely grated

Pour water onto teabags and ginger.

Steep for a few minutes.

Serve sweetened with stevia or a little raw honey if desired.

For iced tea, allow to cool, strain and refrigerate.

Avoid adding cane sugar or artificial sweeteners


Note: Please discuss doses of herbs and nutritional supplements with a qualified health professional if you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.  


Speak Your Mind