Thursday, November 22, 2012

Prostate Health

Prostate cancer is the most common form of noncutaneous cancer diagnosed in Western men, and was expected to account for approximately 25% of all newly diagnosed cases of cancer among men during 2008 (1). Among American men, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death and the most common cancer-related cause of death in European men. The American Cancer Society 2009 estimates include 192,280 new cases of prostate cancer and 27,360 deaths in the US resulting from this disease. Annually more than 670,000 men are newly diagnosed worldwide each year (2).   
Currently only 4 types of chemotherapies are approved in the United States for prostate cancer, although other therapies are used worldwide. Some of  the other therapies world wide include natural remedies and prevention and are arguably better than what is used in the U.S.  
For the prevention of prostate cancer, consider some of these natural herbs and micronutrients.  
Lycopene, a micronutrient found in red fruits, is a powerful antioxidant and helps maintain normal prostate function.  Watermelon, tomatoes, chili's, cherries, peppers, and other red fruits are filled with lycopene.  
Pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants and polyunsaturated fatty acids.  Pumpkin seeds have also been used for the treatment of urinary tract problems and enlarged prostates.
Saw palmetto (Sernoa repens) is a small palm tree native to the eastern United States and is rich in fatty acids and phytosterols that has shown promise in treating enlarged prostates.  Native Americans used the berries to treat problems of the urinary/genital systems. Today, studies suggest that saw palmetto may be effective for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia and other prostatic diseases (3).  Even the American Cancer Society agrees that saw palmetto may be useful in relieving symptoms of BPH after reviewing eighteen scientific studies on saw palmetto published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Citrus pectin, found in the peel and pulp of citrus fruits such as lemons, grapefruits, oranges, and tangerines, is a complex polysaccharide with abundant galactosyl (sugar carbohydrate) residues (4). In its natural form, it cannot be absorbed by the body and is considered a soluble dietary fiber. Research indicates that cell-to-cell interactions are mediated by cell surface molecules called carbohydrate-binding proteins (CBP) or lectins. One such lectin, galectin-3, has been implicated in the metastatic process and appears to be expressed more by metastatic cells than by the primary tumor cells (5,6). 
Selenium is a mineral that is found in seafood, skullcap, licorice, Panax ginseng, garlic, eggs, and some whole grains (7).  It has been shown is some studies to help maintain a healthy prostate and neutralize free radicals.
Supplementation may be the best way of ensuring maximum consumption of these herbs and micronutrients. One such effective supplement is called ProstAvan made exclusively by Melaleuca, The Wellness Company. It is a scientifically developed blend of lycopene, saw palmetto berry extract, pumpkin seed extract, selenium, vitamin E, and zinc.  All natural-source ingredients that support prostate health without unwanted side effects.  Taking just one supplement daily could improve prostate health in men substantially.
1. Jemal, A., Siegel, R., Ward, E., et al: Cancer statistics, 2008. CA Cancer J Clin, 58: 71, 2008
2. Cancer Research UK (2006).
4. Eliaz I. The potential role of modified citrus pectin in the prevention of cancer metastasis. Clin Pract Altern Med 2002;2:177–179.
5. Raz A, Lotan R. Endogenous galactoside-binding lectins: a new class of functional tumor cell surface molecules related to metastasis. Cancer Metast Rev 1987; 6: 433–452. 
6. Bresalier RS et al. Expression of the endogenous galactose-binding protein galectin-3 correlates with the malignant potential of tumors in the central nervous system. Cancer 1997; 80: 776–787. 

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