What causes prostate cancer? Can prostate cancer be prevented?
The exact causes of prostate cancer aren’t yet clear. However, there are several factors that have been shown to be associated with the risk of its development. By reducing these factors, you can significantly lower your risk of getting the disease.
This article takes a look at how to prevent prostate cancer naturally, through diet and exercise.
Dietary Risks for Prostate Cancer
The prostate surrounds the urethra and secretes the fluid part of semen. Half of men over 80 have prostate cancer, but most die from the disease. Here are some of the potential causes:
Milk and hormones
- High intake of dairy products increases total prostate cancer risk with a relative risk of 1.07.
- Overall, each daily glass of milk showed higher rates of premature death, heart disease, and cancer in women.
- 3 or more glasses of milk a day show a mortality hazard ratio of 1.93!
- Women who drink milk have 5x the rate of twin births.
- Japanese men showed a 25x increase in prostate cancer risk after World War II. This is also associated with a 7x, 9x, and 20x increase in egg, meat, and dairy consumption respectively.
- Cow’s milk stimulates human prostate cancer cells in vitro by 30%.
- The culprit could be D-galactose, which induces premature aging in lab animals and causes acute symptoms in patients with galactosemia, possibly from oxidative stress.
Eggs and choline
- Men eating 2.5+ eggs/week show 81% increased risk of dying from prostate cancer.
- The culprit could be choline, which is converted into the toxin trimethylamine.
- Overall, men eating poultry showed 4x the risk of prostate cancer progression (like metastasis) which could be due to cooked-meat carcinogens like HCAs.
Meat and IGF-1
- IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1) stimulates cell production. This is useful for growth as a child, but less helpful in adulthood.
- Laron syndrome is caused by a natural inability to produce IGF-1. These patients almost never get cancer.
- IGF-1 is triggered by animal protein consumption.
- After 11 days of avoiding animal protein, IGF-1 levels drop by 20%, and IGF-1 binding protein levels increase by 50%.
- An increase in animal protein consumption of 3% is associated with a 15% increased risk of bladder cancer.
- Vegetarians who include eggs and dairy in diets don’t achieve significant reduction in IGF-1.
How to Prevent Prostate Cancer Naturally
Below are a few dietary suggestions for how to prevent prostate cancer naturally.
- In vitro, blood from a standard diet slowed down prostate cancer cell growth by 9%. Blood from men placed on a plant-based diet for a year reduced cancer cell growth by 70%.
- Cruciferous vegetables are especially helpful, cutting cancer progression by over 50%.
- Increasing plant protein intake of 2% is associated with a 23% decreased risk of cancer.
- Vegetarian diets can reverse prostate cancer. PSA levels in people on a plant-based diet decrease, while levels increase in a control group.
Exercise vs Diet
- Exercise is helpful, but not as helpful as a plant-based diet.
- This was shown by comparing 3 groups: 1) the control, which was sedentary, 2) exercise-only (15 years exercising for an hour each day, 5 times a week), and 3) plant diet + moderate exercise (14 years of plant-based diet, and moderate exercise like a daily walk)
- In vitro, blood from the control group killed 1-2% of cancer cells. Blood from the exercise group killed 20x more cells. Blood from plant-diet group killed 40x more cells.
- Lignans are phytoestrogens shown to slow prostate cancer cell growth in vitro. Lignans are especially concentrated in flaxseeds.
- Prostate cancer patients eating 3 tablespoons per day of flaxseed after a month show lower cancer proliferation rate.
- Flaxseed is also comparable to drugs like Flomax in causing relief for benign prostatic hyperplasia.
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