Reply To: Prostate cancer

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Christine Bailey

Dear Elizabeth,

Many thanks for your question regarding your father diagnosed with prostate cancer. It is worth mentioning that in many cases laser treatment / surgery is often recommended which can be very successful so it would be important for your father to be seeking consultant opinions on the most effective intervention.

That being said, there is much research into specific nutrients that may be beneficial in this condition.


The relationship between lycopene ingestion and the health of the prostate is well-established. Lycopene consumption been found to decrease not only the risk of PC in multiple studies, but also the risk of BC17 and pancreatic and stomach cancer, as well as lung cancer. In these positive studies that correlated lycopene consumption with decreased risk of PC, the lycopene sources were tomato-based products. The richest sources of lycopene in the U.S. diet are ketchup, tomato juice, and pizza sauce; these account for over 80% of the total lycopene intake of Americans.  In one study from Athens, Greece, the authors concluded that the incidence of prostate cancer in Greece could be reduced by about 40% if the population increased the consumption of tomatoes, reduced the intake of dairy products, and substituted olive oil for other added lipids.  You can measure levels of carotenoids through Biolab if you wish to check levels and then supplement.

Gann PH, Ma J, Giovannucci E. et al. Lower prostate cancer risk in men with elevated plasma lycopene levels: results of a prospective analysis. Cancer Res. 1999; 59: 1225–30.


A dietary history of significant lycopene and/or strawberry consumption correlated with a lower risk of aggressive and extra-prostatic PC.  A large, prospective study on male health professionals found that consumption of 2-4 servings of tomato sauce per week was associated with about a 35% risk reduction of total PC and a 50% reduction of advanced (extra-prostatic) PC. Tomato sauce was by far the strongest predictor of plasma lycopene levels in this study.

Giovannucci E, Rimm EB, Liu Y, et al. A prospective study of tomato products, lycopene, and prostate cancer risk. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 2002; 94: 391–8.


Other factors that have been studied include overall fat intake. There are studies that show that dietary fat increases tumor growth rates in an animal model of human PC. So follow a lower fat diet focusing on olive oil, avocado, oily fish, nuts, seeds is recommended.

Bosetti C, Tzonou A, Lagiou P, et al. Fraction of prostate cancer incidence attributed to diet in Athens, Greece. Eur. J. Cancer Prev. 2000; 9: 119–23.

Wang Y, Corr JG, Thaler HT, et al. Decreased growth of established human prostate LNCaP tumors in nude mice fed a low-fat diet. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 1995; 87: 1456–62.


There are also studies on reducing overall calorie intake and achieving a healthy weight.

An important study demonstrated that energy intake (caloric intake) modulates the growth of prostate tumors in two animal models: the androgen-dependent Dunning R3327-H adenocarcinoma in rats and the androgen-sensitive LNCaP human adenocarcinoma in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice. Specifically, decreasing calorie consumption (energy restriction) by 20-40% from the control animals fed ad libitum resulted in:

Increased PC cell apoptosis (programmed cell death)

A two- to threefold reduction in PC angiogenesis as measured by microvessel density

A decrease in vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression

A decrease in circulating levels of IGF-1

A significant decrease in tumor size

In addition, higher IGF-1 levels are associated with a fourfold greater risk of developing PC – so measuring testosterone levels, glucose and insulin handling is important. IGF-1 stimulates the PC cell to make uPA (urokinase-type plasminogen activator), a cell product implicated in the invasiveness and metastasis of PC.

Of interest is the fact that uPA production is inhibited by gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and eicosapentenoic acid (EPA).

du Toit PJ, van Aswegen CH, du Plessis DJ. The effect of essential fatty acids on growth and urokinase-type plasminogen activator production in human prostate DU-145 cells. Prostaglandins Leukot. Essent. Fatty Acids 1996; 55: 173–7.


Reduction in calories focusing on reducing carbohydrates is therefore recommended. Caloric restriction increases levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione, melatonin, DHEA, peroxidase, and catalase. The latter substances are important defense mechanisms in our body that are known to decrease with aging. Caloric restriction is instrumental in lowering the production of cortisol. Cortisol is associated with increased stress levels, and an imbalance in cortisol production leads to immune deficiency and bone loss through resorption, leading to osteopenia and osteoporosis, as well as muscle breakdown and aging of the skin.

Managing inflammation is also important and reducing the production of Arachidonic acid AA. Inhibition of AA and Its Metabolites Causes PC Apoptosis.  EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid, has been shown to suppress AA formation by inhibiting the enzyme delta-5-desaturase. Some epidemiologic studies have shown that high intakes of EPA and DHA lower PC risk substantially.

Ghosh J, Myers CE. Arachidonic acid stimulates prostate cancer cell growth: critical role of 5-lipoxygenase. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 1997; 235: 418–23.


I would also consider selenium. Selenium intake of at least 200 mcg a day should be a consideration in the prevention of PC. Low plasma selenium is associated with a four- to fivefold increased risk of PC.  Consider also the role of vitamin E

Brooks JD, Metter EJ, Chan DW, et al. Plasma selenium level before diagnosis and the risk of prostate cancer development. J. Urol. 2001; 166: 2034–8.

Helzlsouer KJ, Huang HY, Alberg AJ, et al. Association between alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, selenium, and subsequent prostate cancer. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 2000; 92: 2018–23.


A large-scale study of almost 11,000 men in Maryland showed that the protective effects of high selenium levels, and similarly that of the alpha-tocopherol isomer of vitamin E, were only observed when the concentrations of the gamma tocopherol isomer of vitamin E were also high.

Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Ma J, et al. Supplemental vitamin E intake and prostate cancer risk in a large cohort of men in the United States. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 1999; 8: 893–9.


There is also research regarding consumption of dairy products and calcium. A study in the United States involved 1,012 cases of PC among 20,885 men over an 11-year follow-up period. Men consuming greater than 2.5 servings a day of dairy products had a RR of 1.34 for PC after adjustment for baseline age, body mass index, smoking, exercise, and randomized treatment assignment in the original placebo-controlled trial. Compared with men consuming less than or equal to 150 mg calcium a day from dairy products, men consuming greater than 600 mg of calcium a day had a 32% higher risk of PC. The results support the hypothesis that dairy products and calcium are associated with a greater risk of PC.

Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Ma J, et al. Dairy products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk in the Physicians’ Health Study. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2001; 74: 549–54.



The following supplements are suggested for you to consider in light of your relevant expertise and intimate understanding of the needs of your client or patient. They may be used in isolation or as part of a multi supplement strategy, but at all times the consideration of their use should be tied into the specific needs of the individual you are responsible for.

Palmetto Complex II w/Lycopene (ARG) – take 2 capsules daily at dinner –

Wholly Immune (ARG) – take 1 scoop daily – broad spectrum nutritional formula for cancer support –

EFA-Sirt Supreme (BRC) – take 2 capsules three times a day – fatty acid supplement with a specific ratio of n-3 and n-6 to optimize anti-inflammatory prostaglandin leves –

Natural Source E (ARG) – take 1 capsule daily –

Se-Zyme Forte (BRC) – take 1 daily –

I hope this helps with your father