A while back, I posted a blog on prostate health. It mentioned some supplements on how to improve the health of this organ. Reports show that 14-46% of men over the age of 40 have prostate cancer cells(1). The percent increases as you age. Prostate cancer looms over men in the same way breast cancer does for women. I see no other potential disease state that men will actively try to prevent both in nutraceuticals and lifestyle changes than prostate cancer. As many more men die from cardiovascular issues, prostate cancer seems to cause more fear in men.
So what can you do to prevent this disease? What can you do if you have established prostate cancer? Keep in mind that estrogen is more an issue than testosterone. The more we can keep estrogen down, the more favourable the outcome.
1)Keep alcohol consumption down to no more than 1 drink per day and coffee to no more than 2 cups per day. More than this will increase estradiol levels.
2)Keep weight down! Fat tissue increases aromatase activity that converts testosterone to estrogen.
3)Low animal protein intake may tip the conversion of testosterone to estradiol from aromatase instead of the conversion to DHT thru the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme. There is some debate as to the effect this would have, but it would seem prudent to increase animal protein content especially in favour of extra carbohydrates. Sugar feeds cancer so increasing protein and fiber will benefit. Taking zinc will help to block both pathways.
4) Coming into contact with estrogen either directly or not. We see men with symptoms of estrogen dominance because their partner is taking topical estrogen and it gets transferred by direct contact to them. Xenoestrogens in the environment can also contribute to male estrogen dominance. Eat organic! Herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, hormones in food, plastic drinking containers, microwaving plastics, all can contribute to estrogen load.
5)Wearing tight underwear causes the temperature of the testicles to increase and restricts blood flow. This results in more estradiol and less testosterone production.
6)Men with longterm stress that have low cortisol tend to have increased production of estradiol. Stress causes abdominal weight gain that increases estradiol as well. There are several ways to bring back adrenal health and we can help with this. The best first step is reduce stress, eat well, and exercise.
7)Keep your thyroid in shape. Overactive thyroid especially is a culprit that can cause testosterone conversion to estrogen.
8)Increase your intake of cruciferous vegetables. One of our supplements, I3C is used by both men and women to funnel the metabolism of estrogen down to less harmful metabolites. Another supplement, DIM is also used for this purpose. The cruciferous vegetable family uses this pathway to keep estrogen load down.
8)Keep your testosterone levels optimal. Use a saliva test to determine your levels. Too high or too low causes an unfavourable estrogen level. When you do this saliva test, be sure to determine your progesterone and cortisol levels. Progesterone deficiency and out of range cortisol need to be corrected.
9)Ask your pharmacist if any of your medications you are taking are reducing your androgens or competing with androgen receptors.
Check back on our previous prostate health blog for more recommendations on keeping your prostate health up. Other supplements, like resveratrol, antioxidants, zinc, and other nutraceuticals are all recommended.
1) Hertoghe, T. MD, The Hormone Handbook, SA Medical Books, 2010 pages 331-334