Jan 12, 2011 - 11:59 am
I just had a consultation w/a nutrition specialist at UCSF to see if there's anything I could do to decrease my PSA and cholesterol levels through diet.
I've read and seen all of the common advice about both problems but didn't think it would hurt to get specific advice. There are other threads here about PCa & diet but I thought it would be useful to post another thread on it in case someone hasn't seen them before.
UCSF has published a 30+ page booklet on "Nutrition & Prostate Cancer" which gives the standard advice to help prevent the occurrence or reoccurrence of PCa:
-- Eat 4-5 cups of fruit & veggies daily
This is pretty similar to all of the other discussions of PCa and diet I've read or heard about before. I pretty much follow this diet but probably still eat too much refined sugar and not enough fiber and fruit/veggies which I will attempt to improve.
As I suspected, there's nothing I can eat that will really control PSA. I already take saw palmetto to address a urinary frequency/urgency problem, which supposedly reduces PSA levels but apparently hasn't done that in my case.
I have also been taking pomegranate and cranberry extract in addition to saw palmetto. The nutritionist felt that it was unnecessary to continue w/the cranberry extract because that mainly addresses urinary tract irritation or infections, which I don't have, but to continue the pomegranate extract because of it's possible anti-PCa benefits.
I also take 1200 mg of calcium and 2 multi-vitamins w/calcium and iron daily. I learned from the nutritionist that high calcium and iron levels are both associated w/a higher incidence of PCa and the nutritionist recommended that I stop taking the the calcium supplements and switch to a non-iron multi-vitamin, which I should take less frequently (only 1 tab every 2-3 days) since I already eat a relatively healthy diet. I'm going to follow this advice.
Increased fiber, whole grain and fluid intake and reduced saturated/hydrogentated fat intake are the primary factors associated w/cholesterol reduction, which interestingly are already encompassed by good anti-PCa diet.
The nutritionist however also suggested to supplement meals w/ground flaxseed, which is high in omega 3-fatty acids (just like fish), has high fiber content and contains lignan which is an antioxidant and anti-inflamatory element believed to combat cancer and intestinal disorders. I'm going to do this too.
Also, if you are taking a statin medication to control cholesterol (as I did and will start doing again), my nutritionist recommended taking CoQ-10 supplements because statins reduce the production of CoQ-10, which is essential for healthy cell reproduction and at least theoretically should help to prevent cancer. CoQ-10 is available in high concentrations naturally in nuts, olive/soybean oil and fish. CoQ-10 supplements are VERY expensive. I think I'll get enough CoQ-10 from my diet but will keep an eye out for CoQ-10 supplements on sale and buy some if the price is right.
BTW, I've mentioned this before, but high doses of statins also have negative effects on testosterone production, which is good for suppressing PCa but it can also result in ED (loss of libido) and reduction in semen/ejaculate production. This happened to me when my daily dosage was raised to 80mg. Stopped taking statins completely for 6 months but my cholesterol levels have spiked and am going to start taking statins again at 40mg when I didn't notice any negative sexual side effects.
Hopefully, this information will be useful to those of you who haven't considered these issues before.