Solutions for Common Prostate Problems

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By the time men reach their 50s or 60s, it is almost inevitable that they will experience difficulties related to their prostate gland.

Common symptoms include more frequent need to urinate, waking up during the night to “go,” or trouble even “going” at all.

These signs should not be ignored or overlooked as they can indicate serious problems, including benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostatitis, and even prostate cancer.

Fortunately, a number of natural extracts have proven value in preventing, and often reversing, symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia and chronic prostatitis with a high safety profile.

There is also evidence that certain supplements can help prevent prostate cancer, and even slow the rate of cancer progression if it does occur.

This article supplies essential information for men wishing to prevent prostate trouble—and solutions for those with existing issues.

The Aging Prostate Gland

The three most common prostate conditions are:
  1. Benign prostatic hyperplasia
  2. Prostatitis (inflammation of prostate)
  3. Prostate cancer1

These conditions often produce similar symptoms in their early stages, making it difficult to differentiate between them. These common symptoms can include the following:

  • More frequent need to urinate
  • More urgent need to urinate
  • Decreased urine flow or dribbling
  • Frequent nighttime awakening to urinate
  • Burning with urination

The reason prostate problems are likely to cause trouble with the lower urinary tract has to do with the prostate’s location. The prostate is located between the lower part of the bladder and the rectum. It surrounds the internal part of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the end of the penis.

When the prostate swells, whether because of benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostate cancer, or prostatitis, it narrows the urethra, making it difficult for urine to pass freely from the bladder. As the gland continues to grow, it can produce sufficient blockage to lead to difficulty urinating, and even urinary retention, which in turn can result in bladder and kidney infections.

While most prostate problems can be readily treated—and the vast majority are not cancer-related—it is important to seek medical attention as soon as a symptom arises.1

Researchers have identified a number of nutrients that have been found to alleviate many of the unpleasant prostate symptoms. Let’s look at the data on some of the best-known and most effective supplements that can help men optimize their prostate health.

Nature’s Solutions for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is an enlargement of the prostate gland. Approximately 25% of men in their 40s have benign prostatic hyperplasia, with a startling 80% of men in their 70s suffering from the condition.2

The good news is that benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is not cancerous. It is a major risk factor for sexual dysfunction. Conventional treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia can cause unpleasant side effects that are also a cause for sexual dysfunction.3

Fortunately, studies have shown that certain nutrients help alleviate many of the symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia and can significantly improve quality of life as a result.

Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto is one of the most well-known natural treatments for prostate problems. Recent studies suggest that saw palmetto may also be beneficial for chronic prostatitis, prevention of prostate cancer, and even sexual dysfunction.3,4

There is evidence to suggest that saw palmetto has similar efficacy to finasteride (Proscar®) and tamsulosin (Flomax®), two medications used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia.3,5,6 Of even greater interest, a lower incidence of associated sexual dysfunction was seen in men supplemented with saw palmetto compared to those given pharmaceuticals.5

A 2013 study demonstrated that elderly men treated with 320 mg of saw palmetto extract daily for eight weeks not only experienced a significant 52% improvement in their International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), the standard tool used to measure the severity of benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms, but also had a significant 40% improvement in sexual dysfunction scores!3

A host of other studies compellingly demonstrate the impact of saw palmetto extract on symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Two large meta-analyses including more than 7,000 men from 38 studies showed that saw palmetto extracts produced significant improvements in the International Prostate Symptom Score, reductions in frequency of nighttime urinations, and improvements in peak urine flow rates.7,8 Indeed, saw palmetto produced similar improvements in urinary symptoms and urinary flow compared to the drug finasteride, but with fewer adverse effects.7

Based on all of these studies, a 2015 review article concluded that, while drug therapy might be most effective for moderate to severe benign prostatic hyperplasia, herbal medications including saw palmetto are useful for men with mild to moderate symptoms.9

Not all studies demonstrate desired relief with saw palmetto,10 which is why combining it with additional nutrients is the preferred choice for most aging males.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Natural Treatments for Prostate Health

  • The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that has important functions in the male reproductive system.
  • With age, the prostate is known for causing problems with urination and pain, as well as cancer.
  • A number of natural extracts have proven value in preventing and often reversing symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia and chronic prostatitis as effectively and with a much better safety profile than existing drug therapies.
  • Most prostate problems are not cancer-related, and proper supplementation can lead to improved prostate health and fewer risks for problems down the line.

Stinging Nettle Root

Stinging nettle root (Urtica dioica) has been widely used as therapy for benign prostatic hyperplasia.11 Both human and animal studies have shown that nettle root extract is effective not only in relieving benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms, but also in shrinking the size of the prostate gland.11-13

A study on nettle root extract was shown to improve lower urinary tract symptoms significantly better than placebo, with marked improvements in the International Prostate Symptom Scores, increases in peak urinary flow rates, and reductions in residual urine volume remaining in the bladder.12

The most compelling findings show that the combination of nettle root extract and saw palmetto extract can produce improvements similar to those of prescription benign prostatic hyperplasia medications with far fewer adverse events.6,14,15 Of particular interest, a study involving 257 elderly men with benign prostatic hyperplasia found that the combination of the extracts reduced the International Prostate Symptom Scores by 53%, improve urinary flow by 19%, and reduced residual urine volume by 44% when compared to placebo.16

In addition, repeated studies have revealed that saw palmetto, combined with nettle extract, can reduce nighttime urination by one episode per night, a substantial and significant difference.14

SYMPTOMS OF PROSTATE PROBLEMS1

Regardless of the cause, symptoms of prostate enlargement that can signal prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia, or prostate cancer are similar in their early stages. They include the following:

  • More frequent need to urinate
  • More urgent need to urinate
  • Decreased urine flow or dribbling
  • Frequent nighttime awakening to urinate
  • Burning with urination symptoms of prostatitis include, in addition to those of general prostate trouble:1
  • A strong and frequent urge to urinate, even when only a small amount of urine is present
  • Chills, fever, low back pain, or body aches
  • Pain in the lower abdomen, the groin area, or behind the scrotum
  • Pressure or pain in the rectum
  • Discharge from the urethra (urinary opening) during bowel movements
  • Throbbing in the genital and/or rectal area
  • Problems with sexuality and loss of drive
  • Painful ejaculation symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia include, in addition to those of general prostate trouble: 1
  • Hesitation or difficulty starting a urine stream
  • A weak or slow stream of urine, or just a dribble of urine
  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • A sense of incomplete emptying of the bladder
  • Repeated stopping and starting during a single urination
  • Pushing or straining to complete bladder emptying

The symptoms of prostate cancer are often difficult to distinguish from those of benign prostatic hyperplasia. That means that men with any such symptoms should see their physicians early to allow for proper diagnosis and treatment. Annual PSA screening to detect early-stage prostate cancer is highly recommended.

Pygeum Africanum

Pygeum africanum is a plum tree from tropical Africa.17 It has been in widespread use in Central and Eastern Europe for decades and numerous human studies have demonstrated the clinical efficacy of pygeum in the management of mild to moderate benign prostatic hyperplasia.18,19 At typical doses of 100 mg per day, the extract produces significant improvements in International Prostate Symptom Scores of 38% to 46%,19reductions in frequency of nighttime urination of 32%,18 and increases in peak urinary flow rates of 16% to 19%.19 Quality of life, an important measure for this disruptive condition, was increased by about 30% in two studies.18,19

A meta-analysis of 18 randomized, controlled trials involving 1,562 men has shown similar results, with overall reduction in nocturnal urination of 19% and increased urine flow of 23%. It also showed that men who took pygeum had an important reduction in the volume of urine remaining in the bladder after urination, a major risk factor for urinary tract infections. In that analysis, men using pygeum extract were more than twice as likely as those using placebo to report an overall improvement in urinary tract symptoms.20

Additional Nutrients for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Pumpkin seed. Studies have shown that supplementation with pumpkin seed led to clinically relevant reductions in the International Prostate Symptom Scores compared with placebo after three to 12 months.21,22One of these studies also showed that the combination of pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto improved quality of life scores and showed 41.7% reduction on serum PSA levels at the end of the study when compared to baseline.22

Pollen extracts. A meta-analysis of 444 men demonstrated that rye grass pollen extract significantly improved self-rated urinary symptoms in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Men in this study were also more than twice as likely to report improvement in nocturnal urination compared with placebo, and no side effects were reported.23

Flaxseed. Flaxseed is a rich source of dietary lignans. In the intestine, they are converted by bacteria into other bioactive compounds, particularly enterolactone. A human study on dietary flaxseed lignan extract demonstrated significant reductions in the International Prostate Symptom Scores and improvements in quality of life in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia.24

Prostate Cancer Prevention

Prostate cancer is the second most common malignancy experienced by men,25 with more than 180,000American men diagnosed a year, according to the American Cancer Society.26

While it can be life threatening, most men do not die from prostate cancer. The five-, 10-, and 15-year survival rates for men diagnosed with prostate cancer are 99%, 98%, and 95% respectively.27 In fact, it is estimated that more than 2.9 million American men are living with the disease right now.26 In addition, it is among the most readily prevented cancers because it tends to grow very slowly and because nutritional approaches to prevention can be highly effective.17

Let’s take a look at five of the most effective nutrients against prostate cancer.

Lycopene

A nutrient with significant potential effects against prostate cancer is lycopene, a bright red carotenoid pigment abundant in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables.28-30

High consumption of lycopene has been associated with a reduced risk of developing prostate cancer—and also with a reduced risk of dying from the disease. Among men with more aggressive prostate cancers, above-average lycopene consumption was associated with a 59% reduction in the risk of dying from the disease!31

Higher blood lycopene levels have also been consistently associated with reduced prostate cancer risk.32

Additionally, lycopene inhibits the inflammatory processes that promote prostate (and many other) cancers by suppressing critical “master regulatory molecules” such as nuclear factor-kappa beta (NFkB).33

Pygeum Africanum

In addition to combating many of the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, pygeum africanum has shown early evidence of potent anticancer effects.

One study found that when mice bred to have prostate cancers were treated with pygeum extract, they had significantly lower incidence of developing the malignancy. This same study showed that when applied directly to prostate cancer cells in culture, pygeum extract had numerous benefits, including inhibiting cell proliferation, inducing apoptosis, and binding to androgen receptors used by the tumor to sustain growth.17

Another important study showed that serum from a man using pygeum extract could decrease the proliferation of prostate cells in culture and upregulated genes involved in tumor suppression.34

LYCOPENE MAY SLOW CANCER PROGRESSION

Most men by middle age have been offered a blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which is produced in excessive amounts by prostate cancers and can be effectively used to help identify early-stage malignancy. PSA can also elevate in response to prostatitis and benign prostate enlargement.

Lycopene, the red pigment from tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables, is one of the few compounds convincingly demonstrated to slow the rise of PSA in men with prostate cancer.

One study showed that, for men with advanced tumors, lycopene plus removal of the testes (to deprive the tumor of growth-promoting male hormones) was superior to surgery alone, with a significant difference in PSA levels by two years after the procedure.51 Men in this study also had fewer secondary tumors, better relief from bone pain, improved urine flow, and, most importantly, an improved survival rate compared with those undergoing testes removal only.

In another study of men with prostate cancer, 10 mg of lycopene per day significantly slowed the rate of PSA rise in 70% of treated men, and in 21%, turned the rise into a decline.52

Since PSA is now known to have direct contributions to prostate cancer growth in addition to serving as a marker for the disease,43 it seems sensible for men, even without known cancers, to supplement with lycopene as a way of suppressing this important risk factor.

Three Additional Nutrients to Fight Prostate Cancer

Boswellia extract. Numerous studies on cultured prostate cancer cells have shown that boswellia extract induces tumor death by apoptosis.35-38 Other studies also show that its components may prevent tumor growth by blocking the androgen (male hormone) receptors39 and by inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis), further depriving tumors of nutrients.36

Flaxseed. Studies confirmed that flaxseed supplementation lowers PSA levels and significantly reduces the proliferation of normal prostate cells and prostate cancer cells.40,41 In a clinical study, supplementation with flaxseed generated favorable reductions in tumor proliferation rates in men with prostate cancer in as little as 30 days.41

Boron. According to one study, men with the highest dietary boron intakes have a 54% lower risk of developing prostate cancer compared to those with the lowest intake.42 Boron is known to block certain growth factors necessary for tumor development, and it has also been shown to inhibit the enzymatic action of PSA, which releases those same growth factors from their transport proteins.43 In an animal study, human prostate cancers implanted in mice were smaller by 38% following low-dose boron supplementation, while serum PSA levels fell 89%. 43

Relief for Chronic Prostatitis

Chronic prostatitis is a term used to describe ongoing inflammation of the prostate gland, usually in the absence of any known infection. 1 It is often found as part of a condition known as chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome, both of which are common in older men and unfortunately difficult to treat with standard medication, leaving men who suffer from this condition in considerable misery.44-46

Fortunately, studies show that rye grass pollen extract may be a viable approach to treating this challenging condition.

One early study demonstrated that men assigned to receive rye grass pollen extract showed significant improvements in reported pain and quality of life. They also showed improvements on total scores on the NIH Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index scale, compared with placebo.47

Subsequent studies found similar results, with more supplemented subjects reporting significant improvements in quality of life and symptom scores.48,49

None of these studies identified significant side effects, which suggests that rye grass pollen is both safe and effective in the treatment of chronic prostatitis, a stubborn condition that has resisted other treatment approaches.

Summary

The human prostate is a small gland with an enormous impact on a man’s health. Most of its functions are important in reproductive activity, but problems tend to arise later in life.

The most common prostate problems include benign prostatic hyperplasia, chronic prostatitis, and prostate cancer. Treatments, when available, vary in effectiveness and carry considerable side effects.

A large handful of dietary supplements has shown real promise in reducing the impact of prostate disease. While no single supplement can provide complete coverage against potential problems, those discussed here have overlapping mechanisms of action. This suggests that, taken in combination, they can contribute to reducing the risk of prostate disease, and many have been shown to help reverse the most troubling symptoms.

Starting a comprehensive prostate health supplement regimen is the smart thing to do, even (and especially) before symptoms arise.

References

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  18. Breza J, Dzurny O, Borowka A, et al. Efficacy and acceptability of tadenan (Pygeum africanum extract) in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH): a multicentre trial in central Europe. Curr Med Res Opin. 1998;14(3):127-39.
  19. Chatelain C, Autet W, Brackman F. Comparison of once and twice daily dosage forms of Pygeum africanum extract in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia: a randomized, double-blind study, with long-term open label extension. Urology. 1999;54(3):473-8.
  20. Wilt T, Ishani A, Mac Donald R, et al. Pygeum africanum for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2002(1):Cd001044.
  21. Vahlensieck W, Theurer C, Pfitzer E, et al. Effects of pumpkin seed in men with lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia in the one-year, randomized, placebo-controlled GRANU study. Urol Int. 2015;94(3):286-95.
  22. Hong H, Kim CS, Maeng S. Effects of pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil in Korean men with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia. Nutr Res Pract. 2009;3(4):323-7.
  23. MacDonald R, Ishani A, Rutks I, et al. A systematic review of Cernilton for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. BJU Int. 2000;85(7):836-41.
  24. Zhang W, Wang X, Liu Y, et al. Effects of dietary flaxseed lignan extract on symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. J Med Food. 2008;11(2):207-14.
  25. Mariani S, Lionetto L, Cavallari M, et al. Low prostate concentration of lycopene is associated with development of prostate cancer in patients with high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia. Int J Mol Sci. 2014;15(1):1433-40.
  26. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer/detailedguide/prostate-cancer-key-statistics. Accessed March 14, 2016.
  27. Available at: http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/prostate-cancer/statistics. Accessed March 15, 2016.
  28. Borel P, Desmarchelier C, Nowicki M, et al. Lycopene bioavailability is associated with a combination of genetic variants. Free Radic Biol Med. 2015;83:238-44.
  29. Holzapfel NP, Holzapfel BM, Champ S, et al. The potential role of lycopene for the prevention and therapy of prostate cancer: from molecular mechanisms to clinical evidence. Int J Mol Sci. 2013;14(7):14620-46.
  30. Grainger EM, Hadley CW, Moran NE, et al. A comparison of plasma and prostate lycopene in response to typical servings of tomato soup, sauce or juice in men before prostatectomy. Br J Nutr. 2015;114(4):596-607.
  31. Wang Y, Jacobs EJ, Newton CC, et al. Lycopene, tomato products and prostate cancer-specific mortality among men diagnosed with nonmetastatic prostate cancer in the Cancer Prevention Study-II Nutrition Cohort. Int J Cancer. 2016.
  32. Chen P, Zhang W, Wang X, et al. Lycopene and risk of prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015;94(33):e1260.
  33. Assar EA, Vidalle MC, Chopra M, et al. Lycopene acts through inhibition of IkappaB kinase to suppress NF-kappaB signaling in human prostate and breast cancer cells. Tumour Biol. 2016.
  34. Larre S, Camparo P, Comperat E, et al. Biological effect of human serum collected before and after oral intake of Pygeum africanum on various benign prostate cell cultures. Asian J Androl. 2012;14(3):499-504.
  35. El Gaafary M, Buchele B, Syrovets T, et al. An alpha-acetoxy-tirucallic acid isomer inhibits Akt/mTOR signaling and induces oxidative stress in prostate cancer cells. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2015;352(1):33-42.
  36. Pang X, Yi Z, Zhang X, et al. Acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid inhibits prostate tumor growth by suppressing vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2-mediated angiogenesis. Cancer Res. 2009;69(14):5893-900.
  37. Lu M, Xia L, Hua H, et al. Acetyl-keto-beta-boswellic acid induces apoptosis through a death receptor 5-mediated pathway in prostate cancer cells. Cancer Res. 2008;68(4):1180-6.
  38. Buchele B, Zugmaier W, Estrada A, et al. Characterization of 3alpha-acetyl-11-keto-alpha-boswellic acid, a pentacyclic triterpenoid inducing apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. Planta Med. 2006;72(14):1285-9.
  39. Yuan HQ, Kong F, Wang XL, et al. Inhibitory effect of acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid on androgen receptor by interference of Sp1 binding activity in prostate cancer cells. Biochem Pharmacol. 2008;75(11):2112-21.
  40. Demark-Wahnefried W, Robertson CN, Walther PJ, et al. Pilot study to explore effects of low-fat, flaxseed-supplemented diet on proliferation of benign prostatic epithelium and prostate-specific antigen. Urology. 2004;63(5):900-4.
  41. Demark-Wahnefried W, Polascik TJ, George SL, et al. Flaxseed supplementation (not dietary fat restriction) reduces prostate cancer proliferation rates in men presurgery. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008;17(12):3577-87.
  42. Cui Y, Winton MI, Zhang ZF, et al. Dietary boron intake and prostate cancer risk. Oncol Rep. 2004;11(4):887-92.
  43. Gallardo-Williams MT, Chapin RE, King PE, et al. Boron supplementation inhibits the growth and local expression of IGF-1 in human prostate adenocarcinoma (LNCaP) tumors in nude mice. Toxicol Pathol. 2004;32(1):73-8.
  44. Nickel JC. Treatment of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2008;31 Suppl 1:S112-6.
  45. Monden K, Tsugawa M, Ninomiya Y, et al. A Japanese version of the National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI, Okayama version) and the clinical evaluation of cernitin pollen extract for chronic non-bacterial prostatitis. Nihon Hinyokika Gakkai Zasshi. 2002;93(4):539-47.
  46. Potts JM. Therapeutic options for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Curr Urol Rep. 2005;6(4):313-7.
  47. Wagenlehner FM, Schneider H, Ludwig M, et al. A pollen extract (Cernilton) in patients with inflammatory chronic prostatitis-chronic pelvic pain syndrome: a multicentre, randomised, prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 study. Eur Urol. 2009;56(3):544-51.
  48. Cai T, Wagenlehner FM, Luciani LG, et al. Pollen extract in association with vitamins provides early pain relief in patients affected by chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Exp Ther Med. 2014;8(4):1032-8.
  49. Iwamura H, Koie T, Soma O, et al. Eviprostat has an identical effect compared to pollen extract (Cernilton) in patients with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: a randomized, prospective study. BMC Urol. 2015;15:120.
  50. Available at: http://www.rxlist.com/flomax-drug/side-effects-interactions.htm. Accessed Mach 17, 2016.
  51. Ansari MS, Gupta NP. A comparison of lycopene and orchidectomy vs orchidectomy alone in the management of advanced prostate cancer. BJU Int. 2003;92(4):375-8; discussion 8.
  52. Zhang X, Wang Q, Neil B, et al. Effect of lycopene on androgen receptor and prostate-specific antigen velocity. Chin Med J (Engl). 2010;123(16):2231-6.

Written By:  Michael Tewson

Article Source: http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2016/6/Solutions-for-Common-Prostate-Problems/Page-01

“The Greatest Health of Your Life”℠

Boston Testosterone Partners
National Testosterone Restoration for Men
Wellness & Preventative Medicine

Risk factors for prostate cancer

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New research suggests that age, race and family history are the biggest risk factors for a man to develop prostate cancer, although high blood pressure, high cholesterol, vitamin D deficiency, inflammation of prostate, and vasectomy also add to the risk. In contrast, obesity, alcohol abuse, and smoking show a negative association with the disease. Details are reported in the International Journal of Medical Engineering and Informatics.

Khaled Alqahtani, Shankar Srinivasan, Dinesh Mital and Syed Haque of the Department of Health Informatics, at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, Newark, New Jersey, USA, explain that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men with 233000 new cases estimated in the USA during 2014 and almost 30000 deaths. A boy being born today has an almost 1 in 7 chance of developing prostate cancer at some point in their life and a 3% chance of dying from the disease. At this time, however, cancer specialists do not fully understand the underlying causes nor the epidemiology of prostate cancer.

Alqahtani and colleagues have analyzed data from The US Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), the largest database in the USA for all-payer inpatient health care. They focused on the years 2007-2011 amounting to more than 12 million records and looked at men aged 35 to 100 years, finding that approximately 5.35% of them had prostate cancer (642383 men). They then used statistical analyses to look at the independent variables: age, race, family history of prostate cancer, family history of any other cancer, obesity, alcohol abuse, smoking, cholesterol, vitamin D deficiency, inflammation of prostate, vasectomy, and hypertension, to see which factors were critical variables associated with prostate cancer incidence.

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Alqahtani, K.S., Srinivasan, S., Mital, D.P. and Haque, S. (2015) ‘Analysis of risk factors for prostate cancer patients’, Int. J. Medical Engineering and Informatics, Vol. 7, No. 4, pp.365-380

Article Source: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-09/ip-rff092915.php

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Wellness & Preventative Medicine

The Products that Make Men Grow Breasts, Linked to Cancers of the Prostate and Liver

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Owned by Unilever, the Axe brand includes a range of men’s grooming products with many of the ingredients never even tested for safety according to the C.I.R. – Cosmetic Ingredient Review.

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals

Axe products are loaded with endocrine disrupting chemicals. Endocrine disruptorsare exogenous, synthetic chemicals that have hormone-like effects on both humans and wild-life and interfere with the endocrine system by either mimicking or blocking our natural hormones and disrupting their respective body functions.
Member scientists of the Endocrine Society issued a report in which they claim:

“We present the evidence that endocrine disruptors have effects on male and female reproduction, breast development and cancer, prostrate cancer, neuroendocrinology, thyroid, metabolism and obesity, and cardiovascular endocrinology.”

New studies are also revealing that these harmful chemicals may be causing physical feminization in males. A study published by the International Journal of Andrology found that feminization of boys can now be seen through their play habits.

Medical experts are now wondering whether exposure to years of these toxic chemicals is part of the reason so many older men are low on testosterone and experiencing erectile dysfunction. So they take a little blue pill and get exposed to even more chemicals and the cycle continues.

Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex Gly

Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly is the active ingredient in Axe deodorant products. One or more animal studies show kidney or renal system effects at very low doses, mammalian cells show positive mutation results, animal studies show reproductive effects at moderate doses.

Aluminum was first recognized as a human neurotoxin in 1886, before being used as an antiperspirant. A neurotoxin is a substance that causes damage to nerves or nerve tissue.

 

COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE

COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE is a very toxic ingredient which has been linked to cancer in animal tests. The biggest danger of using a product with cocamidopropyl betaine is its potential contamination with nitrosamines.

Nitrosamines are created when nitrosating agents are combined with amines.  Nitrosamines have been identified as one of the most potent classes of carcinogens, having caused cancer in more than 40 different animal species as well as in humans.

PPG-14 Butyl Ether

PPG stands for popypropylene glycol, which is made from a completely artificial petroleum product, methyl oxirane. Another name for that is propylene oxide (which is a probable human carcinogen). Propylene oxide is also an irritant and highly flammable. Butyl ethers are in the paraben family, and they are toluene derivatives (toxic petrochemical compounds).  Toluene has proven to have a harmful affect on the reproductive system while parabens have been linked to cancer.

 

PEG-8 Distearate

According to a report in the International Journal of Toxicology by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) committee, impurities found in various PEG compounds include ethylene oxide; 1,4-dioxane; polycyclic aromatic compounds; and heavy metals such as lead, iron, cobalt, nickel, cadmium, and arsenic. Many of these impurities are linked to cancer.

BHT

There have been many studies which demonstrate that BHT accumulates over time in the body, having a toxic impact on the lungs, liver and kidneys amongst other negative effects. A study by Gann in 1984 showed that BHT was capable of promoting chemically-induced forestomach and bladder cancer in male rats.

A 1988 Swedish study by Thompson looked at both BHT and BHA. They found that both were toxic and tumour promoting.  Both antioxidants were observed to be cytotoxic in a concentration-dependent manner at concentrations ranging from 100 to 750 microM. At equimolar concentrations BHT was more cytotoxic than BHA.

BY ANYA V Source: livingtraditionally.com

The Products that Make Men Grow Breasts, Linked to Cancers of the Prostate and Liver

 

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Study suggests another look at testosterone-prostate cancer link

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The long-standing prohibition against testosterone therapy in men with untreated or low-risk prostate cancer merits reevaluation, according to a new study published in The Journal of Urology.

“For many decades it had been believed that a history of prostate cancer, even if treated and cured, was an absolute contraindication to testosterone therapy, due to the belief that testosterone activated prostate cancer growth, and could potentially cause dormant cancer cells to grow rapidly,” says Abraham Morgentaler, MD of Men’s Health Boston. “Generations of medical students and residents were taught that providing testosterone to a man with prostate cancer was like pouring gasoline on a fire.”

This study, involving 13 symptomatic testosterone deficient men who also had untreated prostate cancer, suggests this traditional view is incorrect, and that testosterone treatment in men does not cause rapid growth of prostate cancer. It is the first to directly and rigorously assess changes in the prostate among men with prostate cancer who received testosterone therapy.

The men received testosterone therapy while undergoing active surveillance for prostate cancer for a median of 2.5 years. Median age was 58.8 years. The initial biopsy Gleason score was 6/10 for 12 of the men, 7/10 for the other (Gleason score grades the aggressiveness of prostate cancer by its microscopic appearance on a scale of 2-10. Gleason 6 is generally considered low to moderately aggressive, and Gleason 7 moderately aggressive).

Mean testosterone concentration increased from 238 to 664 ng/dl with treatment, yet neither prostate specific antigen (PSA) concentrations nor prostate volume showed any change. Follow-up biopsies of the prostate were performed in all men at approximately yearly intervals, and none developed cancer progression. In fact, 54 percent of the follow-up biopsies revealed no cancer at all.

Although the number of men in the study was small, and none had aggressive or advanced prostate cancer, Morgentaler observed, “These men were rigorously followed. The cancers in these men were typical of the prostate cancers for which men have undergone invasive treatment with surgery or radiation for 25 years. Clearly, the traditional belief that higher testosterone necessarily leads to rapid prostate cancer growth is incorrect.”

In a Journal of Urology editorial comment, Martin M. Miner, MD, of the Miriam Hospital and Warren Alpert School of Medicine of Brown University notes the conclusions represent “a remarkable shift in thinking from only five years ago. … If testosterone therapy was not associated with disease progression in men with untreated prostate cancer, how concerned must we be about testosterone therapy in men with treated prostate cancer?”

“An increasing number of newly diagnosed men with prostate cancer opting for active surveillance, and with many of them also desiring treatment for their signs and symptoms of testosterone deficiency, the results suggest a reevaluation of the long standing prohibition against offering testosterone therapy to men with prostate cancer,” says Morgentaler.

Refraining from testosterone therapy due to unmerited prostate cancer fears may have adverse lifestyle and health consequences, since testosterone therapy in testosterone deficient men has been shown to improve symptoms of fatigue, decreased libido, and erectile dysfunction. Testosterone therapy may also improve mood, blood sugar control, increase muscle, decrease fat, and improve bone density. Four recent studies have shown that men with high testosterone levels appear to live longer than men with low levels, although it has not yet been shown that treating men with testosterone increases longevity.

Morgentaler commented on an Italian study that showed that low levels of testosterone were associated with aggressive prostate cancer. The risk of aggressive cancer was reduced for men with normal testosterone compared with men with low testosterone.

In an editorial in the journal Cancer, “Turning Conventional Wisdom Upside Down: Low Serum Testosterone and High-Risk Prostate Cancer Morgentaler wrote, “After seven decades of circumstantial evidence pointing us in the wrong direction, perhaps it is time to consider the once unthinkable – conducting a testosterone therapy trial of sufficient size and duration to determine whether normalization of serum testosterone in older men many reduce the risk of prostate cancer, particularly high-risk prostate cancer.”

Article Source: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-04/bidm-ssa041911.php

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Testosterone therapy does not raise risk of aggressive prostate cancer

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Men with low levels of the male sex hormone testosterone need not fear that testosterone replacement therapy will increase their risk of prostate cancer.

This is the finding of an analysis of more than a quarter-million medical records of mostly white men in Sweden, research led by investigators at NYU Langone Medical Center and its Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center. The international team of study authors will present these results on May 9 at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in San Diego, Calif.

In the study, researchers found that, as a group, men prescribed testosterone for longer than a year had no overall increase in risk of prostate cancer and, in fact, had their risk of aggressive disease reduced by 50 percent.

“Based on our findings, physicians should still be watching for prostate cancer risk factors — such as being over the age of 40, having African-American ancestry, or having a family history of the disease — in men taking testosterone therapy, but should not hesitate to prescribe it to appropriate patients for fear of increasing prostate cancer risk,” says lead study investigator and NYU Langone urologist Stacy Loeb, MD, MSc.

Loeb points out that much of the concern over cancer risk is that, as part of standard therapy for advanced prostate cancer, tumor growth is decreased by drugs that drastically reduce rather than increase male hormones. “But when used appropriately by men with age-related low testosterone who are otherwise healthy, testosterone replacement has been shown to improve sexual function and mood.”

The researchers say use of testosterone therapy — taken by mouth, gel patch, or injection to treat “low T” — has skyrocketed in the past decade. Its popularity is a consequence, experts say, of an aging “boomer” population and heavy drug industry marketing, and has come about despite its unknown, long-term health risks. According to some surveys, use of testosterone therapy has more than tripled since 2001, with more than 2 percent of American men in their 40s and nearly 4 percent of men in their 60s taking it. Testosterone levels drop naturally by about 1 percent per year in men past their 30s.

Specifically, the current study found that 38,570 of the men whose records were examined developed prostate cancer between 2009 and 2012. Of these men, 284 had prescriptions for testosterone replacement therapy before they were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Their records were compared with 192,838 men who did not develop prostate cancer, of whom 1,378 had used testosterone therapy.

Researchers noted that while their initial analysis showed an uptick (of 35 percent) in prostate cancer in men shortly after starting therapy, the increase was only in prostate cancers that were at low risk of spreading and was likely a result from more doctor visits and biopsies performed early on. The authors stressed that the long-term reduction in aggressive disease was observed only in men after more than a year of testosterone use, and the risk of prostate cancer did not differ between gels and other types of preparations.

“Overall, our study suggests that what is best for men’s health is to keep testosterone levels balanced and within a normal range,” says Loeb, who suggests that men with testosterone levels below 350 nanograms per deciliter and symptoms should seek medical advice about whether they should consider testosterone therapy.

For the study, researchers matched and analyzed data from the National Prostate Cancer Register and the Prescribed Drug Register in Sweden. The country is one of the few in the world that collects detailed information on cancer and medication prescriptions for its entire population, and for which no comparable North American data source exists.

Loeb says the team next plans further studies to determine why low testosterone levels might trigger aggressive prostate cancer and why maintaining normal levels may protect against aggressive disease.


Story Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160507143326.htm

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

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Fish and Prostate Cancer Risk: Fact or Fiction

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Several scientific studies have found a reduction in prostate cancer associated with increased omega-3 intake.1-11 A recent report purportedly showed the opposite.12

This report was based on a single blood test of plasma fatty acids in a group of 834 men who were followed up to six years to assess prostate cancer risk (low- and high-grade disease). A smaller group of 75 men was followed up to nine years to assess only high-grade prostate cancer risk.

The results showed that slightly higher omega-3 plasma percentages from this single blood test were associated with a greater risk of low-grade (44%) and high-grade (71%) prostate cancers over the multi-year follow-up.

This report was turned into news stories with headlines blaring “Omega-3 fatty acids may raise prostate cancer risk.

Omitted from the media frenzy was the fact that this study was not about fish oil supplementusers. The authors admitted they did not know how the study participants achieved what turned out to be very low omega-3 plasma percentages in all groups.

In fact, omega-3 plasma levels were only about 40% of what would be expected in health conscious people taking the proper dose of fish oil.12 ,13 The insufficient levels of plasmaomega-3s in all the study subjects were overlooked by the media. Had these very low plasma levels of omega-3s been recognized, it would have been apparent that this report had no meaning for those who boost their omega-3 consumption through diet and supplements.

Also absent from the reporting was that more men with slightly higher omega-3 plasma levels had confounding risk factors for greater risk of contracting prostate cancer at baseline, such as having higher PSA scores and a positive family history. Although the authors attempted to statistically control (through a statistical model called multivariate analysis) for some of these risk factors in their analysis, the concern remains that the baseline data was confounded and therefore the statistical analysis invalid, and that the reported results are compromised by higher rates of preexisting disease along with a genetic predisposition, not because of the minuscule variance in the amount of their plasma omega-3.

Prostate cancer sharply increases by 120% to 180% in men who have a first-degree relative who had contracted prostate cancer. Nearly double the men who contracted prostate cancer in this study had a positive family history, and although the researchers attempted to statistically control for this confounding factor, this fact was conveniently overlooked by the mainstream media asomega-3s were instead labeled the culprit.

Associating a one-time plasma omega-3 reading with long term prostate cancer risk is ludicrous. That’s because plasma omega-3 changes rapidly with short-term dietary changes. It does not reflect long-term incorporation of omega-3 into cells and tissues. In this report, differences in baseline omega-3 blood measures were so trivial that if a man had just one salmon meal the night before, he could have wound up in the “higher” omega-3 group even if he never ingested another omega-3 again.14

Numerous flaws in this report render its findings useless for those who supplement with purifiedfish oils and follow healthy dietary patterns. This article represents Life Extension®’s initial rebuttal to this spurious attack on omega-3s that was blown out of proportion by the media.

Prostate cancer is a slow developing malignancy that can take decades to manifest as clinically-relevant disease. Commonly recognized risk factors for contracting prostate cancer are diet, body mass, race, family history, hormone status, and age.15,16

An under-recognized risk factor associated with developing prostate cancer is coronary artery disease.17We at Life Extension long ago observed that men with clogged coronary arteries often developed prostate cancer (and vice versa). A renowned prostate oncologist named Stephen Strum, M.D., made a similar observation and established a common factor behind coronary heart disease and prostate cancer, i.e., bone loss.

Coronary artery disease is clearly linked with osteoporosis,18 as lack of vitamin K prevents calcium from binding to bone and instead allows it to infiltrate and harden the arteries. The ensuing bone loss results in the excessive release of bone-derived growth factors that fuel prostate cancer propagation and metastasis.

Long after Dr. Strum published his elaborate correlation, a 2012 study of 6,729 men showed coronary artery disease to be associated with a 35% increased risk of prostate cancer.17

The reason we bring up the connection of heart disease and prostate cancer is that the authors of the controversial study apparently failed to assess overall baseline health status of the study subjects. We initially suspected that men in the higher group of plasma omega-3 (which turned out to be low by our standards) were more likely to have coronary heart disease. That’s because men with heart disease are told by their cardiologists to eat less red meat and more cold-water fish. So it would not be surprising if the plasma percentage of omega-3 was higher in men with prostate cancer as they may have been trying to eat healthier to avoid bypass surgery or a sudden heart attack.

When we asked the authors of the report if they assessed the baseline cardiovascular status of the subjects, their reply was, No, I don’t believe this to be the case.

Family History Predisposition

If your father or brother develops prostate cancer, your odds of getting it are about 120% to 180% greater than if you don’t have this family history.19

In the report attacking omega-3s, men who contracted prostate cancer had almost double the proportion of first-degree relatives with a history of prostate cancer compared with controls. Although the study authors apparently attempted to control for this baseline risk factor through the use of statistical modeling of selected variables (multivariate analysis), this confounding factor calls into question much of this report’s negative findings, but was not even mentioned in the media’s rush to create headline grabbers.

Men with a family history of prostate cancer often have witnessed the long term death spiral that prostate cancer patients suffer through. As a result, they attempt to adapt healthier lifestyles to avoid becoming a victim of their hereditary genes.

Since eating well-done red meat has long been associated with increased prostate cancer risk, men with unfavorable family histories are more likely to include at least some cold-water fish in their diets, and therefore have higher omega-3 percentage plasma levels. This does not mean the marginally higher omega-3 caused their prostate cancer.

This is partially corroborated with the data from the study participants who did not develop prostate cancer, but had higher plasma percentage levels of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats. This indicated these individuals had little concern about what they ate since they had about half the family history rate of prostate cancer.

Fortunately there may be ways to alter family history genetic predispositions for prostate cancer by eating lots of cruciferous vegetables, maintaining youthful hormone balance, ensuring optimal vitamin D status, and taking compounds that favorably alter gene expression like metformin and curcumin.20-28

Baseline PSA Higher in Those Who Contracted Prostate Cancer

Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is a blood marker of prostate disease.

Standard laboratory reference ranges often allow PSA to reach 4.0 ng/mL before flagging a potential problem. A more progressive view of the PSA is that any number over 2.4 ng/mL should be viewed with suspicion, with a digital rectal exam performed and a follow-up PSA blood test done in three months.

Life Extension has published comprehensive articles about how to properly interpret PSA results, but to state it succinctly: Aging men with PSA readings greater than 2.4 ng/mL are at higher risk for developing clinically relevant prostate cancer and should initiate aggressive steps to reverse the underlying process.

In the report that associated higher omega-3 blood levels with increased prostate cancer incidence, 41.1% of the men who went on to develop prostate cancer had baseline PSA readings greater than 3.0 ng/mL. In the group that did not develop prostate cancer, only 7.3% has a PSA baseline reading greater than 3.0 ng/mL.

Although the study researchers attempted to statistically control for other confounding factors in their analysis like family history, age, and education level, this PSA finding implies that many of the men who developed prostate cancer already had it (pre-existing disease) when the baseline plasma omega-3 level was measured. This finding of 5.6 times more men who developed prostate cancer with a baseline PSA level greater than 3.0 ng/mL compared to the “no cancer” group is impossible to rationally discount. To reiterate, below is the data on the baseline PSA readings from the report the media used to discredit omega-3s:

  • 7.3% of the “No Cancer” group had PSA of ≥3.0
  • 41.1% of the “Total Cancer” group had PSA of ≥3.0

This critical piece of data was ignored in the tabloid-like media articles that erroneously blamed the increase in prostate cancer on omega-3s.

Study Subjects do not Appear to Have Taken Fish Oil Supplements

Life Extension scientists repeatedly reached out to the authors of the negative report, but did not receive a response as to whether any attempt was made to ascertain the source of the omega-3 in the study subjects’ blood. We wanted to know if these men regularly ate cold-water fish or took at least some fish oil supplements.

Despite our requests, no clarification was made available by study authors as to the level of dietary supplementation with fish oil, and if so, the source of fish oil used in the study.

Based upon the very low plasma percentage levels of omega-3 fatty acids detected in the study, the implication is that dietary supplementation with fish oil likely did not occur. Instead, based upon the low levels of omega-3 plasma phospholipids detected, the source appears to have been primarily (potentially exclusively) diet only. As we will show soon, it appears that none of the men in this study consumed much in the way ofcold-water fish either.

Omega-3 Levels Were Low in All Study Subjects

You will be shocked to learn how low the average plasma percentages of omega-3 were in all these study subjects, whether they were in the high or low rate of prostate cancer group.

Plasma phospholipid testing for fatty acids was used in this study. However, this type of fatty acid testing can vary widely depending upon short-term dietary intake. In contrast, long-term uptake by cells and tissues of the body is far less dependent upon short-term changes in diet. For this reason, erythrocyte (red blood cell) fatty acid indices are far better at evaluating cellular uptake over time as a result of fish ingestion and fish oil supplementation.

For example, data indicates that supplementing with about 2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil leads to an increase in erythrocyte (red blood cell) omega-3 fatty acid percentage from about 4% at baseline to about 8% at eight weeks.13

In a case analysis conducted by Life Extension staff, a healthy diet that included fish but not fish oil supplementation resulted in an omega-3 red blood cell (RBC) equivalence level of 6.06%.

However, a standard diet supplemented with 3.6 grams of EPA/DHA from purified fish oil resulted in an omega-3 RBC equivalence level of 10.59%. Thus, compared to what can be achieved with a healthy diet alone, adding a high quality fish oil supplement can nearly double a person’s omega-3 RBC equivalence score, which is consistent with the published literature.

Therefore, if participants in the report alleging an association with fish and prostate cancer had been taking meaningful doses of fish oil supplements, their levels should have been substantially higher than what the study authors reported. Instead, for men in the prostate cancer group of this study, the percentage of plasma long-chain omega-3 fatty acids was only 4.66% … a lower level than historic baselines taking no supplemental omega-3s.13

The numbers below should clarify this glaring flaw that renders conclusions from this report claiming fish or fish oil increases prostate cancer utterly meaningless:

  • Omega-3 RBC equivalence percentage of a moderate fish eater: 6.06%
  • Omega-3 RBC equivalence percentage when taking 3.6 grams/day EPA/DHA: 10.59%
  • Average long-chain omega-3 plasma percentage in study group with higher prostate cancer rates:4.66%
  • Average long-chain omega-3 plasma percentage in study control group (no prostate cancer): 4.48%
Comparison of Omega-3 Values

Figure 1: If you can’t see a difference in the two bars showing plasma percentage of omega-3s between men who contracted prostate cancer and those who did not, that’s because there is virtually no difference. The 0.18% variation could have resulted from men eating just a few ounces of fish the night before their one-time baseline blood draw. These low percentages of plasma omega-3s indicate these men were not taking fish oil supplements, nor were they eating much in the way of omega-3-rich foods in their diet.

There may be no need to provide any more rebuttal than the numbers posted above. They make it clear that the average subject in their groups were consuming very little cold-water fish and certainly no meaningful fish oil supplement. Their entire study population was so negligible in omega-3 that no relevant correlation can be drawn for health conscious people today choosing omega-3-rich foods (like cold-water fish) and high-potency fish oil supplements.

Yet based on this study of men who consumed relatively no omega-3s, frenzied news reporters were advising the public to stop eating cold-water fish and avoid omega-3 supplements.

Virtually No Difference in Omega-3 in Men Who Developed Prostate Cancer

When reading the frantic news reports, you would have thought the omega-3 difference in men with up to 71%increased risk of prostate cancer must have been huge.

At Life Extension, our very first reaction was that the researchers were comparing cardiac patients who gobbled down huge amounts of fish oil supplements to normal individuals who consume relatively little omega-3s. Our initial assumption was that since heart disease patients have higher prostate cancer rates, then that would explain why higher omega-3 could be mistakenly associated with increased prostate cancer risk, since heart disease patients are known to consistently take high-potencies of omega-3s through diet and supplements. How wrong our early conjecture was!

It turns out that the differences in omega-3 plasma phospholipid levels between groups were slight. In fact they were so close that we at Life Extension would classify them all as being too narrow to extrapolate meaningful data.

Our goal is to get the red blood cell (RBC) omega-3 index values in Life Extension members to 8%-11% as this level was shown to offer the greatest protection against sudden myocardial infarction, yet the average quartile for plasma long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in the prostate cancer cases in the report associating fish oil with prostate cancer was only 4.66%.

Now look how narrow the difference is between men with higher prostate cancer rates. In the group whose average baseline blood draw showed 4.48% plasma long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, there was no increased prostate cancer risk. But if the omega-3 percentage average went up to 4.66% (about 1/5 of one percent), prostate cancer rates skyrocketed, according to the report’s authors.

We’re talking here of a difference of 0.18% in the percentage of plasma omega-3 fatty acids that supposedly caused a 43% to 71% increase in prostate cancer incidence. Dedicated fish oil supplement users, on the other hand have over 100% higher omega-3 levels than seen in this study of men who apparently consumed little cold-water fish and no omega-3 supplements.

To put this into real-world perspective, the trivial difference (0.18%) in plasma omega-3 between men with no prostate cancer and those with prostate cancer could occur if a man ate just a few ounces of a cold-water fish like salmon the night before.

Remember, plasma phospholipid testing for fatty acids was used in this study. However, this type of fatty acid testing can vary widely depending upon short-term dietary intake. In contrast, long-term uptake by cells and tissues of the body is far less dependent upon short-term changes in diet. For this reason, the omega-3 RBC equivalence score is far better at evaluating cellular uptake over time as a result of fish ingestion and fish oil supplementation.

There was only one baseline blood draw. The men were followed up to six years (low-grade and high-grade cancer), with a smaller group followed up to nine years to see who would get high-grade prostate cancer. Those who developed prostate cancer were then compared against their baseline blood draw done years earlier.

This kind of methodology is open to misinterpretation and errors even if there were large variances in omega-3 fatty acid percentages, but the 0.18% difference is so tiny that it has no relevance to aging humans who choose to include omega-3-rich foods in their diet and supplement with fish oil.

This may be the first study that seeks to discredit a food/supplement (i.e., omega-3s), where the human subjects were not even taking a fish oil supplement nor ingesting significant amounts of an omega-3 food.

A 0.18% difference in plasma omega-3 fatty acids between men who contracted prostate cancer and those who did not is infinitesimally small. To extrapolate a conclusion from this very small difference that eating fish or taking fish oil supplements is risky, false, misleading, and meaningless … but it did generate a lot of news headlines.

Life Extension is concerned that some men will decrease consumption of omega-3s resulting in a devastating increase of their triglycerides, thrombotic, inflammatory and atherogenic risks. An epidemic of coronary artery blockage and ischemic stroke will soon follow.

Results Are Completely Inconsistent With the Known Biology, Pathophysiology, and Biochemistry of Prostate Cancer

A fundamental aspect of quality research is consistency, and repeatability.

Stated another way, for a medical finding to be considered valid, the results should not contradict well-established facts involving known biology, physiology, biochemistry, etc. Furthermore, the finding should be repeatable by other scientists.

The report attacking omega-3s is inconsistent with a variety of aspects of the well-established scientific and medical literature.

For example, upon close inspection of the data (and not simply a top-line, parroted response by the mainstream media eager to generate headlines), non-smokers had more aggressive prostate cancer, and non-drinkers (alcohol) had higher risk of prostate cancer, and prostate cancer case subjects were less likely to report a history of diabetes than controls.

Based upon these results, the implication is that men who wish to avoid prostate cancer should consume excess calories and develop diabetes, drink alcohol heavily, and abuse tobacco.

This is completely inconsistent with well-established science, and utter nonsense.

In fact, numerous scientific studies show fish oil omega-3 fatty acids offer significant protective benefit for prostate health.

Fish Oil Omega-3 Fatty Acids Offer the First Line of Defense Against Prostate Cancer

In contrast to this attack on omega-3s, the scientific literature overwhelmingly identifies diets high in omega-6 fats, trans-fatty acids, and saturated fats as associated with greater prostate cancer risk, whereas increased intake of long-chain omega-3 fats from fish has been shown to reduce risk. Based on consistent findings across a wide range of human populations, scientific research has identified why eating the wrong kinds of fatty acids provokes a stimulatory effect on prostate cancer.29,30

To ascertain what occurs after dietary fatty acids are consumed, the biochemical pathway for fatty acid metabolism provides the answers. For example, let us assume that for dinner, you eat a steak (a source of saturated fat, as well as arachidonic acid) and a salad, along with a typical salad dressing rich in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fat (e.g., safflower oil).

Arachidonic-Acid

Biochemically, omega-6 fat readily converts to arachidonic acid in the body. In response, the body attempts to compensate for excess arachidonic acid through the 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) pathway. Multiple studies strongly show that 5-LOX enzymatic by-products like leukotriene B4 and 5-HETE directly stimulate prostate cancer cell proliferation through several well-defined mechanisms.31-36

For example, arachidonic acid is metabolized by 5-LOX to 5-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (5-HETE), a potent survival factor that prostate cancer cells use to escape destruction.37,38 Consuming a diet of foods rich in arachidonic acid, or precursors to arachidonic acid like the omega-6 fat linoleic acid, directly provokes the production of dangerous 5-LOX metabolic by-products, which can promote the progression of prostate cancer. In addition to 5-HETE, 5-LOX also metabolizes arachidonic acid into leukotriene B4, a potent pro-inflammatory agent that causes destructive reactions throughout the body and inflicts severe damage to the arterial wall.39-41

If arachidonic acid levels are reduced, a corresponding suppression of the 5-LOX products 5-HETE and leukotriene B4 will occur. A wealth of scientific research clearly demonstrates that supplementation with long-chain fatty acids like EPA and DHA from fish oil can help reduce the production of arachidonic acid-derived eicosanoids in the body.42

In contrast with the misinterpreted results presented in this report of men who were not consuming significant amounts of omega-3s, many other clinical studies indicate substantial benefit with omega-3 fatty acid intake in prostate cancer.

Additional Studies Indicate Substantial Benefit With Increased Intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The report attacking omega-3s conflicts with prior studies demonstrating that increased intake of omega-3 fats has been shown to reduce prostate cancer risk and diets high in omega-6 fats are associated with greater risk. The analysis also suggests a relationship between increased omega-6 fatty acid levels and decreased risk of prostate cancer, which is, again, utterly inconsistent with the known pro-inflammatory effects of omega-6 fatty acids.

  • A 2010 meta-analysis found a 63% reduction in prostate cancer death rates in those with higher fish consumption.1
  • A 2004 study of 47 ,866 men found a trend toward decreased risk of prostate cancer with increasing levels of EPA and DHA.2
  • A 2007 Harvard study of 14, 916 men found lower incidence of prostate cancer in men who had higher levels of long chain omega-3 fatty acids.3
  • A 2013 Harvard study of 293, 464 men found increased omega-3 fatty acid intake was associated with significantly lower rate of fatal prostate cancer.4
  • A 2012 Harvard study of 525 men found a 40% lower prostate cancer death rate among men with the highest intake of marine fatty acids.5
  • A 2011 Duke University study found an increased omega-6:omega-3 ratio (i.e., more omega-6 and less omega-3) was associated with a significantly elevated risk of high grade prostate cancer.6
  • A 1999 New Zealand study found significantly lower rates of prostate cancer with higher blood levels of EPA and DHA.7
  • A 1999 Korean study found increased blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids associated with lower rates of prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia.8
  • A 2003 prospective study reported “that men with high consumption of fish had a lower risk of prostate cancer, especially for metastatic cancer.”10
  • A 2010 study that evaluated nutrient intake and prostate cancer risk concluded “High intake of omega-6 fatty acids, through their effects on inflammation and oxidative stress, may increase prostate cancer risk.”43
  • The University of Chicago conducted a study published in 2004 that showed PSA levels rose in tandem with the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in Jamaican men whose PSA was >10 ng/mL. The researchers noted “Increased levels of Omega6 PUFAs and the ratio of Omega6/Omega3 PUFAs in Jamaican men are associated with an increased mean PSA level and risk of prostate cancer.”44
  • In addition to the clinical trial literature indicating consistent benefits with omega-3 fatty acid intake, traditional Japanese and Mediterranean diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids show a strong, consistent risk reduction in prostate cancer vs. Western diets rich in omega-6 and saturated fat.

Traditional Diets in Japan and The Mediterranean Region High in Fish are Protective Against Prostate Cancer

The results set forth by authors of the negative report on fish oil that omega-3 intake may be linked to prostate cancer are inconsistent, and in abject contrast, to longstanding evidence that diets high in marine lipids, such as the traditional Japanese diet and the Mediterranean diet, are protective against prostate cancer.

For example, the traditional Japanese diet, rich in omega-3 fatty acids from fish, confers protection against prostate cancer, as does the relatively high intake of fermented soy products and relatively low levels of saturated fat.45 The characteristics of the traditional Japanese diet high in soybean products, high in fish, and low in red meat are highly relevant in prostate cancer biology. In all likelihood, the traditional Japanese diet reduces the risk of prostate cancer through a combination of characteristics that generate a synergistic, anti-cancer effect (on prostate cancer).

Likewise, the protective properties of the Mediterranean diet in relation to heart disease and prostate cancer risk are well-established. Several aspects of this dietary pattern are protective, including regular consumption of small fish (smaller fish are less likely to contain contaminants than larger predatory fish such as tuna), high olive oil intake (there is synergy between olive polyphenols and fish oil), high daily ingestion of fresh vegetables, whole fruits (not pasteurized fruit juice rich in concentrated fructose), high-fiber cereals and legumes, and low intake of saturated animal fats and red meat.46

Benefit Clearly Outweighs Risk for Fish Oil Supplementation Among Men

Overwhelming evidence currently available strongly favors fish oil supplementation for most aging humans.

Fish oil and greater marine omega-3 intake have repeatedly and consistently been shown to reduce cardiovascular risk across multiple types of studies. For example:

A randomized, placebo-controlled trial found 1,800 mg of combined EPA plus DHA was associated with a 10%lower rate of cardiac events, 12% lower rate of non-fatal infarctions, and an almost 11% lower rate of cardiac deaths.47

In a large intervention study, 18,000 patients were randomized to receive either a statin medication alone or a statin plus 1,800 mg of EPA-fish oil daily. After five years, those with a history of coronary artery disease had a19% lower rate of major coronary events in the statin-plus EPA-fish oil group compared to the statin-only group.48

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with chronic hemodialysis patients found that 1,700 mg of omega-3 fatty acids daily was associated with a 70% reduction in the relative risk of myocardial infarction.49

A randomized, controlled trial using 3,300 mg of EPA and DHA (and then a decreased dosage) found a trend toward lower cardiovascular event occurrence with fish oil supplementation. Seven cardiovascular events occurred in the placebo group (not given fish oil) while only two cardiovascular events occurred in the fish oil-supplemented group during the study.50

A meta-analysis with an average fish oil dose of 3,700 mg found lowered systolic blood pressure by an average 2.1 mmHg and diastolic by 1.6 mmHg.51

In a randomized trial with peripheral arterial disease patients, 2,000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids daily resulted in a 49% improvement in flow-mediated dilation, a marker of endothelial cell health.52

The GISSI-Prevenzione study (a large, randomized, controlled trial) found that 1,000 mg/day of EPA and DHA in 11,323 patients with a history of recent myocardial infarction reduced the risk of total mortality by 20% andsudden death by 45%.53,54

The DART study — a randomized, controlled trial that examined the effects of advising 2,033 subjects to increase dietary fatty fish — revealed a 29% reduction in all-cause mortality compared with those not advised.55

A 2009 meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials found that dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids reduced the incidence of sudden cardiac death in subjects with prior myocardial infarction.56

Another 2009 meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials found that dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids reduced the risk of cardiovascular death, sudden cardiac death, all-cause mortality, and non-fatal cardiovascular events in patients with a history of certain cardiovascular events or risk factors.57

A 2008 meta-analysis found a significant reduction in death from cardiac causes with fish oil supplementation.58

A 2002 meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials concluded that omega-3 fatty acids reduced overall mortality, mortality due to myocardial infarction, and sudden death in patients with coronary heart disease.59

Will this Flawed Report Prompt an Epidemic of Prostate Cancer?

Regrettably, the public is poorly served by relying on a sound-bite frenzied news media for health data, which often involves parading a provocative medical headline without a deep, thorough evaluation of the study’s validity.

This “science by ambush” denies an opportunity for meaningful rebuttal, since the media never wants to admit last week’s headline news story was bogus.

The average percentage difference (0.18%) of plasma long-chain omega-3 fatty acids from a single baseline test renders this study meaningless. The authors don’t even know if their study subjects were eating fish or taking fish oil supplements. We at Life Extension have criticized certain studies that solely rely on food questionnaires, but this attack on omega-3s didn’t even attempt to ascertain if study subjects were ingesting the nutrient (omega-3s) in question. Yet its authors presumptuously warn of potential risks in consuming supplemental omega-3s!

The lack of rigor, as well as multiple layers of methodological problems and errors, notwithstanding the complete lack of consistency with the known, well-established biology and biochemistry of prostate cancer should prompt outrage in the scientific and medical community.

The danger of this deeply flawed, compromised analysis is that aging men obtaining health information through the mainstream media will cease omega-3 fatty acid ingestion.

The consequences may be profound if aging men shun omega-3 fatty acid supplementation as a result of this flawed study and follows its implied recommendations to consume more omega-6 fats, which enhance inflammation and create a better environment for prostate cancer, as well as cardiovascular disease to flourish.

Although the researchers attempted to statistically model (through multivariate analysis) and control for some (but not all) critical, confounding risk factors like family history, the higher baseline PSA readings (implying more preexisting cancers) and positive family history (1st degree male relative with prostate cancer) in men who went on to develop prostate cancer raise concerns for the integrity of the analysis results. Along with these confounding factors, the marginal difference in baseline plasma omega-3 levels of men who later developed prostate cancer cannot rationally implicate omega-3s as having a causal or causative effect. The plasma omega-3 levels of the entire study group showed consumption of omega-3 from food was inadequate and intake of meaningful fish oil supplementation non-existent.

Educated health consumers should continue to ingest omega-3 fatty acids.

This report will be updated as more of Life Extension’s scientific advisors provide their input.

Written By: William Faloon, Luke Huber, ND, MBA, Kira Schmid, ND, Blake Gossard, Scott Fogle, ND

Article Source: http://www.lifeextension.com/Featured-Articles/2013/8/Fish-and-Prostate-Cancer-Risk-Fact-or-Fiction/Page-01

Poor Oral Health May Signal Prostate Issues

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Prostatitis is a chronic inflammation of the prostate gland that can compromise a man’s quality of life.  Naif Alwithanani, from Case Western Reserve University (Ohio, USA), and colleagues studied 27 men, ages 21 years and older, each of whom were diagnosed with prostatitis within the past year (via biopsy and prostate specific antigen [PSA] test). The men were assessed for symptoms of prostate disease by answering questions on the International-Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) test.  Of the 27 participants, 21 had no or mild inflammation, but 15 had biopsy-confirmed malignancies, and 2 had both inflammation and a malignancy.   Each of the subjects had at least 18 teeth, and all of them showed moderate to severe gum disease. They received treatment and were tested again for periodontal disease four to eight weeks later and showed significant improvement. During the periodontal care, the men received no treatment for their prostate conditions. But even without prostate treatment, 21 of the 27 men showed decreased levels of PSA. Those with the highest levels of inflammation benefited the most from the periodontal treatment. Six participants showed no changes.  Symptom scores on the IPSS test also showed improvement.   The study authors write that: “Periodontal treatment improved prostate symptom score and lowered PSA value in men afflicted with chronic periodontitis.”

Article Source: http://www.worldhealth.net/news/poor-oral-health-may-signal-prostate-issues/

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