Prevalence of Prostate Cancer
According to The American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer affecting men. Skin cancer is number one.
While prostate cancer is typically not deadly for the 165,000 men who are diagnosed yearly, early diagnosis and prevention are essential. If prostate cancer goes undiagnosed and spreads, it kills. Approximately, thirty thousand men die annually from this disease.
Cancer does not discriminate, all men should be screened for prostate cancer. Mike Woods, a young meteorologist for Fox 5 News was luckily diagnosed early at 50 years old. He has been a transparent and tremendous resource for young men worldwide.
Routine prostate cancer screening is not recommended for men over 70 and younger than 55. For those who fall within the age range of 56-69, speak to your doctor about the risks to benefits of screening. There are screening tools that are less risky (urinary and serum biomarkers, imaging, risk calculators) can help determine your need for additional observation.
Prostate Cancer Symptoms
Prostate cancer may have no signs or symptoms in its early stages. Or, you may experience:
- Trouble urinating
- Decreased force in the stream of urine
- Blood in semen
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
- Bone pain
- Erectile dysfunction
Causes of Prostate Cancer
While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of prostate cancer, we know cell mutations (caused mainly by the environment or genetics) cause abnormal cell growth. When these cells multiply, they can spread to other body parts.
Similarly to most chronic diseases, prostate cancer is influenced by 5 main factors:
- Family History: 5-10 percent of prostate cancer cases are caused by inherited mutations. The genes include:
- PTEN and PML are genes that protect against cancer but when they “turn off”, cancer cells grow.
- RNASEL, formerly known as HPCI
- BRCA1 and BRCA2, which have also been linked to breast and ovarian cancer in women
- MSH2, MLH1, and other DNA mismatch repair genes
- Race: Asian-American and Latino have the least risk. African-American the highest risk.
- Age: Men between the ages of 40 and 59 have a 1 in 38 chance of getting prostate cancer. It more than doubles to 1 in 14 by the age of 60.
- Diet & Lifestyle: Being sedentary, smoking and obesity increase risk for a more aggressive prostate cancer diagnosis that is more difficult to treat.
Nutrition and diet matter too (see Diet and Cancer section below).
5. Geographical Location: Men living North are at higher risk for dying of prostate cancer. Researchers believe vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of prostate cancer. Therefore, it may be due to the sun’s role in Vitamin D conversion.
Diet & Prostate Cancer
Just like the on-going low-fat and high-fat diet wars with respect to weight and health, there is controversy on what the best anti-cancer prostate diet might be.
If you read The New York Times, you may be convinced that a high-fat diet will fuel the spread of cancer. The times describes research conducted by Dr. Pier Paolo Pandolfi, director of the Cancer Center and Cancer Research Institute at Beth Israel. His research team compared rodents with prostate cancer that consumed either a low-fat vegetable diet or a “high fat” diet. The report suggests that the result of consuming fat triggered cancer to spread.
While the story headline might grab your attention, it is very misleading. Because the “high fat” diet used was a typical western diet. It was not a low carbohydrate, high fat or ketogenic diet. It is important to keep this in mind, when reading about, or listening to, the dangers of high-fat diets.
There is a big difference between eating a high-fat Western diet and a high-fat diet low carbohydrate diet. The main difference is the low carbohydrate diet will trigger ketosis, fat burning, and weight loss. The Western diet will utilize carbohydrate as its main fuel source and store fat instead of burning it.
A Keto Diet and Prostate Cancer
In another study, a ketogenic diet was compared with low fat and moderate fat diets (described as a “western diet” in the study). The results were much different than you might expect after reading the article in the Times.
When a high fat, no carb keto diet (84% fat-0% carbohydrate-16% protein kcal) was compared with a low-fat (12% fat-72% carbohydrate-16% protein kcal), or moderate-fat diet (40% fat-44% carbohydrate-16% protein kcal) those who followed the keto diet had a significant reduction in tumor growth and experienced the longest survival as compared to the other diets. Tumor growth between low fat and keto diets were comparable.
Additionally, a review article suggests the usefulness of a keto diet along with chemo and radiation therapy:
“It is reasonable to propose that forcing cancer cells to feed on a high fat, low in glucose/carbohydrate, would selectively cause stress in cancer versus normal cells. Increased stress in cancer cells would selectively sensitize cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapies.”
Why Would A Ketogenic Diet Lower Prostate Cancer Risk and Reduce Growth?
It all boils down to insulin. Prostate cancer cells have been linked to high insulin levels and insulin resistance. Therefore, prostate cancer like many chronic diseases seems to have high insulin levels rooted as an underlying factor in the disease process.
One of the most powerful therapeutic values of a ketogenic diet is its lack of effect on insulin. Thus making it a powerful tool to fight cancers that thrive on carbohydrates and sugar. As a result of avoiding carbohydrates, the body produces minimal amounts of insulin to help lower prostate cancer risk.
While this connection may not hold true for all cancers, it seems to be a useful treatment for prostate cancer. Of course, it is also an important discussion to have with your doctor.
Does Vitamin and Ketone Supplementation Benefit Prostate Cancer?
Vitamin and mineral imbalances are associated with prostate cancer. Therefore, consideration of micronutrients (vitamins A, D, E, K and C; and minerals, calcium, selenium, and zinc) is just as important as macronutrients (carbs, fat, and protein) because they influence prostate cancer risk. Speak with your doctor before using any supplements.
Preliminary research suggests that dietary ketone supplementation with BD (1,3-butanediol) or a KE (ketone ester) significantly prolonged survival in mice with metastatic cancer by 51 and 69%. Results showed that the favorable effects of ketone supplements worked beyond weight loss, glucose levels or calorie restriction.
Food & Vitamin Supplements Effect Prostate Cancer Risk
|Vitamin D||Decreased or possibly no effect|
|Vitamin E||Unsure. Studies show both increased and decreased risk|
|Folate||May increase or decrease risk|
|Selenium||Unsure. Studies show both increased and decreased risk|
|Green Tea/ Catechin/EGCG||Decreased|
Crush Prostate Cancer Using A Ketogenic Diet Wrap up
Control your risk for prostate cancer by leading a healthy life.
No one medical treatment or diet is suited for everyone’s individual medical condition and nutritional needs. This is true for men with prostate cancer too.
Speak with your doctor about using a ketogenic diet & supplementation as a useful tool for a healthy prostate.
#Prostate Cancer #Insulin #Keto Diet #Prostate Cancer Supplements