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Nutrition Consultation -- PCa and Cholesterol

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 637
Joined: Mar 2010

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
-- Eat 30-45 grams of fiber daily
-- Avoid processed and refined grains/flours/sugars
-- Limit or eliminate meat/dairy
-- Eat "healthy" fats from fish, walnuts, flaxseed, soybeans, avocados & olive oil.
-- Consume dietary lycopene (30 mg) daily -- tomato based products are the primary source.
-- Consume 50-200IU of Vitamin E daily
-- Maintain Serum 25-0H Vitamin D level above 40 ng/ml.
-- Drink 1-4 cups green tea daily
-- Drink water or non-caffeinated beverages to supplement fluid needs (8-12 cups daily).
-- Exercise

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.

Kongo's picture
Kongo
Posts: 1167
Joined: Mar 2010

Great post with much useful information. The only thing I would add is a low dose aspirin each day which has anti-cancer benefits as well as a host of other benefits related to minimizing threats from heart attack and stroke.

Best,

K

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 637
Joined: Mar 2010

Thanks, Kongo.

I'm taking 80mg daily too -- mainly for the vascular/heart benefits, which is why I didn't mention it above. However, the anti-cancer benefits are (as you note) an added bonus.

bdhilton
Posts: 759
Joined: Jan 2010

basically what I have been doing and the results have proven to be great so far along with exersise...

FreddyJoe
Posts: 42
Joined: Dec 2010

Some very good ideas, but I would like to add that we must careful taking vitamins and herbal suppliments. I used to take a hand full every day, but have cut way back now. Vitamin E used to be touted to be great, they have reversed the idea now and I no longer take it except what I get in a multi vitamin. When I read the fine print of the multivitamin bottle it warned not to take Vitamin A in excess as it could cause osteoporosis. I was also taking DHEA, that claimed to maintain a healthy mood and support immune function, but when you read the fine print again it warns about using it if you have prostate enlargement or cancer. Read the fine frint and do a little research before anyone jumps into a new diet or suppliment regimen. There is also some evidence that drugs like Eligard may cause blood problems and could have an effect on the cholesterol level. I was put on a low colesterol diet, and now wonder if that was really necessary, while taking the other drugs.

mrspjd
Posts: 693
Joined: Apr 2010

Right you are, Fred, about the dangers of over-the-counter DHEA supplements, taken by many men, old and young, alike. We know--my husband used to take them prior to PCa dx.

source: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dhea/ns_patient-dhea

"DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is an endogenous hormone (made in the human body), and secreted by the adrenal gland. DHEA serves as precursor to male and female sex hormones (androgens [testosterone] and estrogens). No studies on the long-term effects of DHEA [supplements] have been conducted. DHEA can cause higher than normal levels of androgens and estrogens in the body, and theoretically may increase the risk of prostate, breast, ovarian, and other hormone-sensitive cancers. Therefore, it is not recommended for regular use without supervision by a licensed health professional."

"Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, is a steroid hormone, a chemical cousin of testosterone and estrogen. It is made from cholesterol by the adrenal glands, which sit atop each kidney." "In men, the increased levels of testosterone seen with daily DHEA pills could stimulate the growth of a tiny prostate tumor that would otherwise have remained dormant. Excess testosterone could also cause the prostate to enlarge, making urination difficult."

IF YOU KNOW ANY MEN, YOUNG OR OLD, TAKING OVER THE COUNTER DHEA SUPPLEMENTS, OR IN OTHER FORMS SUCH AS STEROID INJECTIONS, PLEASE WARN THEM OF THE RISKS THEY ARE TAKING IN REGARD TO PROSTATE CANCER!

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