MILK 'N HONEY HEALTH FOODS

 

THE PATHWAY TO PROSTATE HEALTH

       Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer among men. Yet it is one of the most preventable cancers and when it does occur it often grows at such a slow rate that the man dies from something other than the cancer.  Prostate cancer is predominantly a disease of men in their 60’s and beyond and effects African-American men in greater numbers than Caucasians.  Having a close relative such as a father or brother with prostate cancer also increases your risk which indicates some genetic dynamics may be involved.

       The prostate is a gland about the size of a walnut and is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum.  The prostate makes and stores a milky fluid that combines with sperm from the gonads to produce semen.  The gland wraps around the upper part of the urethra which is the tube through which urine is carried from the bladder into the penis.  It is difficult to identify prostate cancer on the basis of symptoms alone as the same symptoms can indicate benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) which is a non cancerous swelling of the prostate. 

       Symptoms associated with prostate cancer and BPH are frequent urination, difficulty urinating, which may include weak or interrupted flow or a burning sensation, blood in the urine or semen and frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips or upper thighs.  A protein called prostate-specific antigen (PSA) will become elevated in the blood stream if prostate cancer is present.  This antigen can also become elevated with BPH, an infection of the prostate, ejaculation of semen and things as innocuous as riding a bicycle.  If the blood test for PSA shows a reading above 4.0 you may want to have a more extensive medical exam to determine what is going on. This would be especially true if you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above.  To avoid a false PSA reading, it is advisable not to take this test until several days after having a sexual organism, riding a bike or while treating a known infection of the prostate. In addition to having a test to measure PSA, your doctor may want to order out a test called 4Kscore which is able to identify the risk for aggressive prostate cancer.

        It should be noted that the National Cancer Institute has reported that most men with an elevated PSA do not have prostate cancer.  Around 25% of men who have a biopsy because of having an elevated PSA are actually found to have prostate cancer.  A biopsy is a procedure where a doctor inserts a needle through the wall of the rectum to remove  small amounts of tissue from various areas of the prostate gland.  If the biopsy reveals cancer, a doctor may recommend radiation therapy, chemo therapy or removal of the prostate. Surgical removal of the prostate can result in incontinence and/or impotence.

What Causes BPH and Prostate Cancer?

       While various factors are involved in the development of BPH and prostrate cancer, researchers have come to believe inflammation is a leading dynamic.  The essential fatty acid, alpha linoleic (omega 6) leads to inflammation in the body.  This fatty acid is very prevalent in the Western diet. This fatty acid converts in the body to arachidonic acid. The body produces an enzyme called 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO).  When 5-LO combines with excessive arachidonic acid, a substance called 5-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (5-HETE) is formed. 5-HETE produces inflammation which is thought to be a leading contributor to prostate problems.  Research shows that when the enzyme 5-LO is blocked from making 5-HETE, prostate cancer cells die off.  Therefore it appears 5-HETE is essential for the survival of prostate cancer and by reducing 5-HETE, potential prostate cancer can be avoided and the growth of existing prostate cancer can be limited.  

       Cooking oils such as corn, safflower, and sunflower are high in omega 6 linoleic acid.  Due to the excessive use of these oils in processing food and our high consumption of animal products, the American diet is very high in omega-6 fatty acids while being low in omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation.  Adding flax and fish oil to your diet will increase your levels of omega-3.  Flax seed meal and flax seed oil are good source of the important omega 3 alpha linolenic acid.  A high quality fish oil will provide the important fatty acids EPA and DHA. It is important these supplements be of high quality so that you receive the benefits expected which is a reduction in inflammation. We recommend Wholemega from the company New Chapter and Vectomega from the company EuroPharma.

       You can also reduce the body’s production of 5-LO by using herbs such as ginger, rosemary, saw palmetto and stinging nettle along with pumpkin seed and olive oil.  All these botanicals have naturally occurring 5-LO inhibitors. A supplement called Prostate 5LX, from the company New Chapter, combines these herbs into a single formula.

       Since inflammation appears to be a primary culprit in the development of BPH and prostate cancer, doing all one can do to reduce inflammation is important to prevent their development. In addition to their Prostate 5LX product, New Chapter also markets the product Zyflamend which features the turmeric extract curcumin.  Curcumin is a well documented natural anti-inflammatory.  Zyflamend provides curcumin and a variety of other anti-inflammatory herbs. The product Curamin and Curamed from Euro Pharma are two other high quality curcumin products that research shows are highly effective in limiting the advance of cancer in the body. 

MANAGING BPH AND PROSTATE CANCER:

       Managing and preventing BPH and prostate cancer involves the same dietary, nutritional and life-style dynamics as does managing and preventing disease in general.  You must maintain a strong immune system by eating a high quality whole food diet and avoiding processed, refined foods.  You must avoid refined sugars which will depress the immune system. Sugar feeds cancer!  Malignant tumors frequently exhibit an increase in anaerobic (without oxygen) metabolism. This is a metabolism where cancer cells burn glucose (blood sugar) in the absence of oxygen. This results in the production of abundant lactic acid.  Lactic acid buildup lowers body pH which means body tissues become more acidic.  Cancer cells grow more prolifically in an acidic environment.  Lactic acid buildup interferes with production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), our basic energy molecule, by reducing the extraction of energy from the food we eat.  This leads to malnourishment and subsequent fatigue.  This results in many cancer patients experiencing a “wasting away” because of the lack of proper food metabolism.

       When battling cancer, you must eliminate simple sugars such as sucrose (common table sugar) and fructose from the diet.  Sucrose quickly converts to glucose.  Most commercial fructose is made from corn syrup and is 55% fructose and 45% glucose. The glucose immediately passes into the blood stream while the fructose is converted by the liver to glycogen (stored carbohydrate), which is converted to glucose as the body needs it.     

       A human study involved ten healthy people who were fed 100 grams of simple carbohydrates such as glucose and sucrose.  The purpose was to measure the activity of neutrophils, which are immune cells that envelop and destroy pathogens including cancer cells.  The consumption of these sugars significantly reduced the ability of neutrophils to do their job in the body. One researcher found that the protective activity of the immune systems T lymphocytes was reduced by 94 percent after eating a meal high in sugars,  

       Consumption of complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and legumes do not have this kind of immediate effect on the immune system. However, a diet high in any type of carbohydrates, simply or complex, leads to higher glucose levels as all carbohydrates eventually turn into glucose. It is wise to reduce carbohydrate consumption in general.  

       Simple sugars as found in many processed and refined foods, fast foods, desserts, snacks, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, etc., quickly increase blood sugar levels which restrict the immune system from fighting cancer and actually accelerate the growth of cancerous tumors.  Complex carbohydrates as found in vegetables, whole grains and legumes, break down slowly into glucose and do not have the same level of impact on the immune system or feed tumors in the manner seen with simple sugars. Obtain your carbohydrates primarily from vegetables which will not only give you complex carbohydrates, but will also provide vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids and fiber. Simple sugars as found in fruit are fine, but while fighting cancer, I would go light on eating fruit in order to keep the overall level of simple sugars low in the body. Be sure to get adequate amounts of fiber in the diet to facilitate eliminating the wastes of metabolism. 

       To be healthy you must exercise. Exercise lowers blood sugar, boosts immunity, strengthens all body tissues and reduces stress.  Stress reduction is critical as research shows consistently elevated stress levels increases the risk for degenerative disease, including cancer. Exercise increases the delivery of oxygen to all parts of the body. Cancer cells do not do well in the presence of oxygen.

       In addition to these general life style dynamics, there are specific foods, nutrients and supplements that have been shown to be effective in preventing and dealing with existing BPH and prostate cancer.

Calcium D-Glucarate:

       Calcium D-Glucarate is a botanical extract found in grapefruit, apples, oranges, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. It supports a detoxification mechanism in the body called glucuronidation, in which toxins and substances that can cause cell mutation are combined with water-soluble substances, thus making them more easily removed from the body. Calcium D-Glucarate has been shown to support this vital process by inhibiting an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase. When levels of this enzyme become elevated, it reverses the glucuronidation process and releases the toxins back into the bloodstream. Researchers have discovered that increased beta-glucuronidase activity in the body is strongly associated with prostate cancer.  Studies have shown Calcium D-Glucarate to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. So eat your broccoli.

Cruciferous Vegetables:

       As mentioned above, broccoli is a food source for Calcium D-Glucarate. It’s been observed that men who eat a lot of broccoli have a lower risk of getting prostate cancer. Broccoli, as well as other cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, collards, kale, cauliflower and brussels sprouts, contains a compound called sulforaphane which has the ability to activate what are called phase 2 enzymes which deactivate cancer causing chemicals in the body. In laboratory experiments, prostate cancer cells exposed to sulforaphane demonstrated inhibited growth of cancer cells up to 80 percent. Damaged DNA is a major dynamic in the development of cancer. Compounds present in cruciferous vegetables have been shown to protect DNA. 

Selenium:     

       Selenium is a trace mineral found in both plant and animal foods but often in insufficient amounts due to its depletion in our soil.  Selenium is required by the body to make an antioxidant enzyme called glutathione peroxidase which protects us from cell breakdown caused by lipid oxidation and radiation. Selenium is necessary for the production of interleukin-2 which activates the T-cells of our immune system. Selenium will also block the effects of the toxic metal mercury.  In a double blind study of 974 men, researchers found that selenium supplementation cut the rate of prostate cancer by 63%.  Taking at least 200 micrograms of supplemental selenium per day will be beneficial in meeting your body’s needs. Selenium is available at Milk ‘N Honey.    

Green tea:

       Green tea contains a compound called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has a special affinity for prostate cancer cells.  Research has demonstrated EGCG will virtually stop the growth of prostate cancer.  Green tea also contains polyphenols and catechins which have been found to be cancer protective. In addition to using green tea as a beverage, it can also be taken as an extract in capsule or liquid form. 

Pomegranate:    

         Like green tea, pomegranate fruit contains polyphenols which are cancer protective. A recent study shows that certain compounds in pomegranate juice lowered PSA levels in men.  Another study showed that mice receiving a high concentration of pomegranate extract had significant slowing of their cancer progression and a decrease in the levels of PSA. 

       A study done at the University of California in 2006 demonstrated that the drinking of an eight ounce glass of pomegranate juice on a daily basis resulted in a significant reduction in the elevation of PSA levels.  As already explained, elevation of PSA (prostrate specific antigen) levels is a marker for prostate cancer development.  The men in this study had all been diagnosed with prostate cancer and had undergone surgery or radiation treatment but had continued to experience raising levels of PSA. Before drinking the pomegranate juice the PSA of these men was doubling every 15 months.  After drinking pomegranate juice on a daily basis for a specified period of time, it took 54 months for PSA to double.  Drinking pomegranate juice appears to have significantly slowed down the increase in levels of PSA which indicates a significant slow down in the growth of cancer associated with the prostate.  At Milk ‘N Honey, we carry a high quality pomegranate concentrate called PomXtra from the company EuroPharma. 

Tomatoes:

       Tomatoes contain a plant chemical called lycopene which has been found to be very protective against prostate and lung cancer.  A study reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found a 45% lowering of the risk for prostate cancer in men who regularly consumed ten or more servings of tomatoes or tomato based foods per week as opposed to men who did not.  In another study, thirty-two prostate cancer patients ate a pasta meal covered with three-fourths cup of tomato sauce every day for three weeks. Results showed a two point drop in PSA levels in just that short period of time.  Signs of DNA damage also dropped sharply.  Cooking tomatoes has been shown to more than double the effectiveness of lycopene.  Lycopene is also available as a supplement at Milk ‘N Honey. 

Zinc:

       More zinc is concentrated in the prostate gland than any other area of the body.  Some research indicates zinc may prevent enlarged prostate by inhibiting the 5-Alpha Reductase enzyme that is responsible for the conversion of the hormone testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Excessive DHT as been implicated as a cause of enlarged prostate and also a possible dynamic in prostate cancer as it promotes the growth of prostate cells.  Excessive DHT is also associated with hair loss in both men and women. Supplementing with 50 milligrams of zinc per day will contribute to overall zinc sufficiency.   Pumpkin seeds are a good dietary source of zinc and contain omega-3 fatty acids along with compounds that interfere with the conversion of testosterone to DHT.  Zinc, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto extracts are available at Milk ‘N Honey.

Boron:

       Boron is a trace mineral that has been shown to block PSA from producing growth factors that promote tumor development.  In one animal study, human prostate cancerous tumors were implanted in mice and were found to be reduced by 38% and PSA levels dropped by 89% after supplementation with boron.  Boron is available as a supplement at Milk 'N Honey. 

Saw Palmetto, Stinging Nettles, Pygeum Africanum:

      Extracts of the herb saw palmetto have been shown to prevent the conversion of testosterone to DHT.  Some studies indicate the taking of saw palmetto extract to be as effective as the drugs Proscar and Flomax in treating the symptoms of BPH. The herbs stinging nettles and pygeum africanum have also been shown to reduce swelling of the prostate and facilitating better urine flow.  

ProstaCare:

       ProstaCare is a product from Himalaya USA which combines a number of Ayurevdic herbs into a blend that has a good track record of managing BPH.  Recent studies have shown ProstaCare helps maintain a normal PSA count, strengthens the bladder and out-performs such traditional products as saw palmetto.  ProstaCare is available at Milk ‘N Honey

Rye Pollen:  

       Rye pollen is known in Europe as Cernilton or Cernitin. Rye pollen extract has been used for the treatment of chronic prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate). There are a number of compounds in rye pollen including cyclic hydroxamic acid which prevents the growth of prostate cells. Other compounds in rye pollen include stigmasterol, quercetin, and cernitin.  Rye pollen has been shown to be very effective in managing BPH. 

Turmeric:

       The herb turmeric contains compounds called curcuminoids which are phenolic compounds that provide plants with defenses against oxidation and pathogens.  These compounds are also known to facilitate anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting the production of chemicals called prostaglandins which are found in high concentrations in areas of tissue inflammation.  Turmeric’s most active and dominant curcuminoid is curcumin.   Research has shown that curcumin is an effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.  Curcumin has been shown to be effective in the treatment of a variety of health problems including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis.  To help reduce inflammation of the prostate, we highly recommend taking Curcumin from EuroPharma or Turmeric Force from the company New Chapter. We carry both of these high quality turmeric products at Milk 'N Honey.

Prostate Ezee Flow Tea:

       This is a tea that contains the herbs chamomile, cranberry, damiana, willow flower,ginseng, lavender,lemon, red peony, saw palmetto, stinging nettle and water plantain.  This tea has been very effective in facilitating better urine flow in cases of enlarged prostate.  Customers have reported relief from dribbling, urgency and poor flow.  We carry this tea at Milk 'N Honey.

Immune Boosting Formulas:

       If you presently have prostate cancer, there are specific supplements you can take which will help your body fight the cancer.  A substance called IP-6, made of phytic acid with the addition of the B vitamin inositol, has been shown to boost the activity of the immune system’s natural killer (NK) cells which in turn kill cancer cells.  The herb Cat’s Claw, when containing high levels of the compound called pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids (POA’s), has been shown to enhance the activity of the immune system’s macrophages, which are large white cells which digest foreign material including cancer cells.  Cat’s Claw, high in POA’s, also increase the number of T-cells which are major players in the body’s immune response.  In some European countries, Cat’s Claw is routinely used in conjunction with conventional cancer treatment.  We recommend the Cat’s Claw product Saventaro from Enzymatic Therapy. This product has high levels of POA’s and is free of tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids (TOA’s) which destroy the effectiveness of POA’s. 

       The medicinal mushroom Maitake has a compound called D-fraction, which laboratory studies show will stop the growth of cancer cells and cancerous tumors by stimulating the activity of both macrophages and natural killer cells.  All three of these components, IP-6 with inositol, Cat’s Claw with high POA levels and Maitake, are available in a single formula called Cell Fort’e Max3 from Enzymatic Therapy.  We carry this product at Milk ‘N Honey.   

      As stated at the beginning, prostate cancer is often slow growing.  With appropriate dietary and life style changes and proper supplementation, prostate cancer and BPH can be effectively managed. For those who currently have prostate cancer and are interested in alternative non-toxic approaches to treating cancer, a good book to read is "Outsmart your cancer" by Tanya Harter.  This book is available at Milk 'N Honey.

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