Vitamins and Prostate Cancer: Which to Take and Which to Avoid
If you’re confused about what vitamins to take to protect against prostate cancer and what vitamins to avoid, you’re not alone.
Studies often conflict with one another, leaving us not knowing what to do.
The experts at the CyberKnife Center of Miami, a state-of-the-art radiation treatment center for cancer, compiled some basic findings about vitamins, which may help clarify which ones reduce the risk of prostate cancer and which may increase your risk.
However, it’s always best to consult with your own doctor because each one of us has a unique health and medical history.
Vitamins to Reduce Your Risk of Prostate Cancer
Vitamin D: According to researchers at Northwestern University, vitamin D deficiency was linked to aggressive prostate cancer. “Vitamin D deficiency could be a biomarker of advanced prostate tumor progression in large segments of the general population,” said Adam B. Murphy, lead author of the study. “More research is needed, but it would be wise for men to be screened for Vitamin D deficiency and treated.”
Here in lies the controversy: Vitamin D is important for bone health, but there isn’t strong clinical evidence that taking extra vitamin D supports a healthy prostate.
So, what’s a man to do? Better safer rather than sorry. Talk to your doctor, get a blood test to check your Vitamin D level and decide with your physician what to do.
Green Tea: According to the National Cancer Institute, green tea may have a protective effect against heart disease and cancer, including prostate cancer. That’s because it’s full of cancer-fighting antioxidants. So go ahead and drink your green tea.
Lycopene: Lycopene is an antioxidant and an organic pigment found in foods like tomatoes, watermelon, apricots, red oranges, and pink grapefruit. Research from animal studies suggest lycopene may have a chemoprotective effect for some cancers like prostate cancer. However, human studies remain inconsistent.
Pomegranate Juice: According to the Mayo Clinic, early research suggests that drinking pomegranate juice slows down the progression of prostate cancer. But other studies suggest there are no benefits. In rodent models, the National Cancer Institute suggests pomegranate juice can slow the growth and spread of prostate cancer. Again, there is no definitive study. In general, pomegranate juice is safe. But talk to your doctor. It could interfere with some medications.
Vitamins that May Increase Your Risk of Prostate Cancer:
Calcium: Some studies show that too much calcium can increase your risk of prostate cancer, but there is no conclusive evidence here either. The National Cancer Institute says additional research is needed.
Selenium and Vitamin E: Selenium is a trace mineral, and vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant found in foods like almonds, olive oil, some dairy products, leafy greens, and certain meats. A clinical trial started in 2001 called the SELECT trial looked at both selenium and vitamin E to help prevent prostate cancer. However, the opposite was found to be true, according to a 2014 Harvard Health article. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“I counsel all of my patients to absolutely avoid any dietary supplements that contain selenium or vitamin E—including multivitamins,” says Dr. Marc Garnick, a clinical professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, oncologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and prostate cancer expert.
Are you completely confused? You’re not alone. Bottom-line talk to your doctor to find out the latest information on what you might be able to do to help protect your prostate and prevent prostate cancer. The information is always changing.
CyberKnife Therapy for Prostate Cancer
One thing this is certain, if you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, the experts at CyberKnife Miami can help you decide what treatment is best for you.
CyberKnife is not a knife at all. It is a cutting-edge radiation technology also known as Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy or SBRT. It can destroy prostate cancer with precision leaving the surrounding healthy tissue unharmed.
Since the prostate is close to several vital organs, traditional treatment for prostate cancer can be life-altering. It can interfere with urinary, bowel and sexual function. With CyberKnife, there are minimal side effects, including urinary and rectal irritation and lethargy. Medication can help minimize these, and they usually go away in a few weeks.
CybeKnife has a 97-percent cure rate for prostate cancer according to Dr. Mark Pomper, board certified radiation oncologist and medical director of CyberKnife Miami.
If you are curious what treatment will look like – check out our time-lapse video showing treatment for prostate cancer at the CyberKnife Center of Miami.
If you would like to find out more about prostate cancer treatment with CyberKnife, call us now for a consultation at 305-279-2900 or go to our prostate cancer website for more information. www.prostatecancertreatmentmiami.com