Prostate Cancer: 10 Evidence Based Naturopathic Tips


One of the things that really bother me is when patients come to my office and tell me that their physician said there is no evidence for naturopathic approaches to prostate cancer.  Last Friday, I had a patient come in and say just that. Ahhrrr! At minimum the naysayers can say ” I am not aware of the evidence” or admit that they simply have very little knowledge on this topic -  I have much respect for those physician’s that do.

On this blog post I present a dearth of evidence-based information on slowing or possibly reversing prostate cancer progression with natural lifestyle practices – there are thousands of scientific articles on this. Feel free to print this and bring it to your physician’s office – beware, if he/she is stubbornly cynical it may stay unread.


10 quick evidence-based naturopathic tips to combat prostate cancer


1. Limit your meat intake and do not eat well-done, charred or overcooked meats. Overcooked, well-done meats form a compound called heterocyclic amines (HCA). There is now increasing evidence that HCAs found in cooked meat are crucial carcinogens that have been implicated in the development of several human cancers (Zheng W et al. 2009)


2. Limit your consumption of simple carbohydrates. Food sources rich in simple carbohydrates include table sugar, corn syrup, white bread, white pasta, fizzy drinks and cakes.  Complex carbohydrates can be found in whole grains such as brown rice, buckwheat and sweet potato. Over consumption of simple carbohydrates may cause hyper-insulinemia and obesity, which has been postulated to increase the risk of developing prostate cancer (Pollak et al. 2004).

3. Eat more fish. Oily fish such as mackerel, sardine, salmon and trout are an excellent source of omega-3 Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA). A few large observational studies have suggested a beneficial association between high fish or omega 3 PUFA consumption and reduced risk of developing prostate cancer (Leitzmann et al. 2004).


4. If you are overweight, lose weight. There is evidence suggesting that men who are overweight have higher chance of developing advanced prostate cancer, higher risk of dying of prostate cancer, and progression after prostatectomy. (Rodriguez et al., 2009)


5. Eat a plant-based diet emphasizing cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables are part of the Brassicaceae family, which includes horseradish, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprout, cauliflower, bok choy and wasabi. The active ingredient in cruciferous vegetable is a compound called isothiocyanates (a metabolic derivative of glucosinolates) has been shown to have potent anticancer properties (Yang et al. 1994). Several epidemiological studies have previously reported a reduced incidence of prostate cancer amongst men who have a high consumption of cruciferous vegetables (Krystal et al. 2002).


6. Drink several cups of green tea a day. Green tea, derived from the plant Camellia sinensis, contains polyphenolic compounds, most notably epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant that is 25–100 times more potent than Vitamin C and E. A large prospective cohort study of 49,920 men and their green tea consumption habits those who consumed 5 cups or more a day were at lower risk of advanced prostate cancer (Kurahashi et al. 2008).


7. Use dietary supplements intelligently and seek professional guidance if possible. While some supplements can be safe and protective in moderate amounts others can be harmful in people consuming higher dosages. This is the case for zinc, beta-carotene, vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) and folic acid (Schultz et al. 2011)


8. Supplement with 1000 to 2000 units of vitamin D. Vitamin D is believed to be important in the protection of human prostate cells (Peehl et al. 2003)). Epidemiological studies indicate that sunlight exposure is inversely proportional to prostate cancer mortality and that prostate cancer risk is greater in men with lower levels of vitamin D (Studzinsky et al. 1995). Higher dosages (up to 5000 units or more may be needed in some people.)


9. Take 50 units of vitamin E ( alpha tocopherol) in a formula that includes gamma-tocopherol – make sure the label reads mixed tocopherol on the back. One study demonstrates the possible protective effect of alpha-tocopherol vitamin E among males taking 50 units a day (Heinonen et al. 1998) while another showed an INCREASE in prostate cancer among men taking 400  units (8 times as much) of alpha-tocopherol vitamin E (Klein et al. 2011). Perhaps more importantly, other vitamin E components found in nature like gamma-tocopherol is likely to be even more protective when combined with alpha-tocopherol (Helzlsouer et al. 2000)


10. Exercise 3 to 4 times a week and combine weight resistance with aerobic exercises. The current data suggest that clinical exercise in patients with prostate cancer improves fatigue, muscle strength, aerobic fitness, flexibility, quality of life, body constitution, blood lipids, and well-being. These positive effects in patients with prostate cancer were observed with regard to resistance and endurance training programs (Baumann et al. 2012)



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Heinonen OP, Albanes D, Virtamo J, Taylor PR, Huttunen JK, Hartman AM, et al. Prostate cancer and supplementation with alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene: incidence and mortality in a controlled trial. J Natl Cancer Inst. Mar 18 1998;90(6):440-6.

Klein et al. Vitamin E and the risk of prostate cancer: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). JAMA 2011 Oct 12;306(14):1549-56.

Helzlsouer, K.J., Huang, H.Y., Alberg, A.J., Hoffman, S., Burke, A., & Norkus, E.P., et al. (2000). Association between alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, selenium, and subsequent prostate cancer. Journal of National Cancer Institute, 92(24), 2018-2023

Baumann FT, Zopf EM, Bloch W.Clinical exercise interventions in prostate cancer patients-a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Support Care Cancer. 2012 Feb;20(2):221-33.



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