The co-authors of Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers, blog alternate posts weekly. We invite you to post your comments.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Concerning Nutrition


My last blog but one was about caloric restriction, because there is ever increasing evidence that overeating and being overweight leads to an increase in the incidence of prostate cancer, as well as the aggressiveness of the disease.

If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and want to delay radical treatment for as long as possible, I firmly believe that the best thing you can do for yourself is take a good, hard look at your eating habits, and probably make some serious dietary changes.

Despite conflicting medical recommendations concerning the role of diet in the treatment of cancer, men who have gone on strict macrobiotic or vegan diets have shown impressive results. However, most of us are not sufficiently disciplined to go to such an extreme. So I'm just talking here about cutting out foods that have been shown to accelerate the pace of cancer cell growth. And sorry, guys, but the two chief offenders are sugar, and red meat.

Glucose functions like gasoline, fueling all the cells in the body, and nutritionists all agree that cancer cells are especially greedy for sugar because growing cells have even greater energy needs. Dr. Patrick Quillin PhD, RD, CNS, internationally respected expert in the area of nutrition and cancer, claims he has yet to see a cancer patient beat the disease while eating a diet that constantly raises blood glucose levels. However, controlling blood sugar levels is no easy task when sugar is everywhere in our food supply.

While healthy, "essential" fats make the immune cells more likely to recognize and destroy cancer cells, the wrong kind of fat--the kind found in red meat-- increases the risk of disease progression. After extensive studies in China, where the consumption of animal protein is very low, the National Cancer Institute found that the more animal protein you eat, the higher your risk of dying of cancer. In the entire Far East, mortality rates from prostate cancer are eighteen times lower than in the U.S.

It amazes me how often the critically important topic of how diet affects cancer growth is underemphasized in most doctors’ offices. Part of the problem is the overwhelming flood of conflicting and constantly changing information about what does and what doesn’t help control cancer growth.  But the truth is there has never been a more important time in your life to eat well than when fighting cancer. And all the evidence points to a diet low in sugar and animal protein for cancer prevention and control.

I have recently become aware of the buzz about Vitamin D and prostate cancer. Greg Anderson, who in 1984 was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and given 30 days to live, is founder of the Cancer Recovery Foundation International group of charities whose mission is to help people prevent and survive cancer. In the recently updated version of his book, CANCER: 50 Essential Things to Do, Anderson claims that excellent science shows that an adequate level of Vitamin D hinders inappropriate cell division and metastasis, decreases blood vessel formation around tumors, and regulates proteins that influence tumor growth. Additional research, he claims, shows that Vitamin D also enhances the immune system’s ability to fight cancer, and is an effective cancer preventative, particularly for breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Most of us, it appears, do not get adequate vitamin D in our typical diets—especially if we are elderly, dark-skinned, obese, or avoid the sun. Anderson stands firmly behind his recommendation for those dealing with a cancer diagnosis to supplement with vitamin D3 (not D2) at the rate of 5,000 IU daily. He believes that over 50% of all prostate cancers can be prevented with vitamin D supplementation, and that it helps make cancer treatments more effective.

So my advice to you is: cut out the steaks and sugared donuts, and check out your local health food store for Vitamin D3

Join Mark Scholz, MD at Barnes & Noble - Long Beach Marina Pacifica to discuss Men's Health and Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers. June 26, 2014 @ 7pm!topic/prostateoncology/EMCeMwSBvZU

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