The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Is it possible to prevent prostate cancer with diet and supplements?

    Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle, Washington, reviewed the evidence.

    First, the details.

    • Nutritional risk factors for prostate cancer among 9,559 participants in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial were reviewed.
    • The presence of cancer was determined by prostate biopsy, which was recommended because of an elevated prostate-specific antigen level or an abnormal digital rectal examination.
    • The biopsy was offered to all men at the end of the study.
    • Nutrient intake was assessed using a food frequency questionnaire and a structured supplement-use questionnaire.

    And, the results.

    • Cancer was detected in 1,703 men.
    • No nutrients or supplements were associated with prostate cancer risk.
    • Risk of high-grade (aggressive) cancer was associated with high intake of polyunsaturated fats.
    • Intake of more dietary calcium was associated with a greater chance of low-grade (less aggressive) cancer vs high-grade cancer.
    • Intake of lycopene, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin E, and selenium, were not associated with the risk of cancer.
    • High intake of omega-6 fatty acids may increase prostate cancer risk because of their effects on inflammation and oxidative stress.

    The bottom line?

    There seem to be 2 take-away points from this review.

    First, there’s no evidence that dietary or supplemental intake of nutrients often proposed to prevent prostate cancer, including lycopene, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin E, and selenium, was associated with risk of low- or high-grade cancer.

    Second, polyunsaturated fat was associated with increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer. This suggests that more research into inflammation and other metabolic processes affected by these fats may be important in understanding prostate cancer etiology.

    9/24/10 21:35 JR

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