Nutrition for Your Prostate Gland
I am often asked by patients and those wishing to protect their prostates from cancer about dietary recommendations. Here are some suggestions that may provide protection for your prostate gland. These are some healthy life-style changes that can be easily be used that may help prevent prostate cancer or help control prostate cancer, if you already have that diagnosis.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men causing nearly 250,000 new cases each year. It is the second most common cause of death in American men, killing nearly 30,000 men annually. However, with regular examination consisting of a digital rectal exam and a PSA blood test, prostate cancer can be detected early and effectively treated.
1. Start taking vitamin D, E and selenium supplements. Although further research is needed to confirm their effectiveness, studies have demonstrated that all three show promise with regard to prostate cancer prevention, when taken regularly.
2. Eat more soybeans (or soybean products) and other legumes. Elevated levels of testosterone may increase your risk for developing prostate cancer. The phytoestrogens-nonsteroidal plant compounds that act like estrogen in the body may help to prevent prostate cancer, and thus can help to regulate imbalanced hormone levels contained in these foods. Genistein, an isoflavone also found in soy foods, helps to normalize hormone levels and thus may reduce prostate cancer.
3. Drink green tea. Antioxidant compounds in green tea may help prevent prostate cancer; some have even been found to kill prostate cancer cells in test tubes, while others have blocked enzymes that promote prostate cancer.
4. Get plenty of fiber. Fiber can eliminate excess testosterone in the body; thus, a high-fiber diet can aid in the regulation of your body's hormone levels and may help reduce the risk for prostate cancer.
5. Reduce your intake of meat and saturated fats. Follow a low-fat diet: diets high in saturated fat - animal fat in particular - and red meat have been found to increase the risk for prostate cancer. Eating a low-fat diet also helps to prevent obesity, a condition that may also increase prostate cancer risk.
6. Eat more broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts and greens. A recent study found that men who ate cruciferous vegetables more than once a week were 40% less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than men who rarely ate them.
7. Eat cooked tomatoes. Lycopene, the carotenoid pigment that makes tomatoes bright red, possesses powerful antioxidant properties and has been linked, in some studies, to a decreased risk for prostate cancer
8. Limit your dairy consumption. Diets high in dairy products and calcium may be associated with small increases in prostate cancer risk. Moderate your dairy consumption, and don't overdo calcium supplements or foods fortified with extra calcium.
9. Get regular aerobic exercise. Regular aerobic exercise has been associated with reduced risk levels for prostate cancer; exercise also helps prevent obesity and other health-related complications that obesity causes.
10. See your physician for prostate cancer screenings, regularly. While regular screenings can't reduce your risk for prostate cancer, changes in diet and exercise can. They help ensure early diagnosis so that prostate cancer can be treated as effectively as possible. My best advice is to get screened annually, especially if you are over the age of 50, if you have a close family member who has prostate cancer or if you are an African-American man.
Bottom Line: Prostate cancer may have a relationship with diet. I cannot tell you for certain if you follow these instructions you will not develop prostate cancer. But as my wonderful Jewish mother would say, “It may not help, but it voidn’t hoit!”