By Frank Shallenberger, M.D. If you’re a man, getting the results of your annual PSA can cause a little anxiety. Given that prostate cancer affects approximately one in every six men, you never know for sure what you’re going to see. When the test comes back showing no increase over the last year, you can take a deep breath and start worrying about something else for a while. Wouldn’t it be nice to know your PSA will stay normal from year to year? Well, there’s an easy way to do just that.
A recent study showed that an over-the-counter supplement combined with a healthy diet can help make sure that your test stays normal. And if you already have prostate cancer, the same study shows an excellent way to slow it down.
The authors, from the Department of Urology at UCLA, looked at the effect of two important dietary oils on prostate cancer. They performed the study on mice.
The researchers fed one group of mice a diet that consisted primarily of omega-6 oils. These would be the fats in grains, grain-fed animals, and most vegetable oils (safflower oil, corn oil, sesame oil, soy oil, evening primrose oil). They fed the other group an equal amount (1:1 ratio) of omega-3 and omega-6 oils. This represents a very low amount of omega-6 oils combined with a very high level of omega-3 oils.
Two weeks after the mice started these diets, the researchers injected them with prostate cancer cells. In this case, it was the most common kind of prostate cancer. This particular strain of prostate cancer is sensitive to the male hormone testosterone. After eight weeks of tumor growth, the researchers removed and studied the tumors. Here’s what they found.
The mice eating the high omega-3, low omega-6 diets had a much slower rate of tumor growth. Their tumors were 68% smaller than the omega-6 mice. In addition, their PSA levels were 77% lower. And when the researchers examined the tumors, they found out why.
The omega-3 mice had prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) levels that were 83% lower than those in the omega-6 mice. PGE2 is a very biologically active substance that omega-6 oils form. PGE2 promotes the growth of prostate cancer cells in tissue culture. It also prevents natural cell death, a process called apoptosis. One of the reasons why cancer cells are so dangerous is because they don’t undergo apoptosis like healthy cells do. And PGE2 makes this effect worse. But there’s more.
PGE2 also directly causes cancer cells to become more invasive. This results in them being much more likely to metastasize (spread throughout the body). And if that’s not enough, PGE2 also stimulates the process known as angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the way tissues, including cancer tissues, grow more blood vessels, allowing them to grow and spread faster. One of the major mechanisms that doctors have today to fight cancer is medications that slow down angiogenesis.
So how do you avoid prostate cancer — or at least slow it down? Simply by decreasing the intake of omega-6 oils and increasing omega-3 intake. Doing so in these mice dramatically decreased their levels of PGE2, slowed down cancer growth by causing the cancers to die faster, metastasize less, and grow slower. The authors conclude that these results “provide a sound basis” for clinical trials in humans. And I agree.
Other studies have already shown that similar diets in humans have resulted in a decrease in the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in healthy prostate cells. And the effects of PGE2 I mentioned above are already known to occur in humans. But why wait until researchers do more studies?
I urge you to start decreasing your intake of the foods mentioned above that are high in omega-6 oils. And at the same time, increase your intake of omega-3 foods. Foods high in omega-3 oils are walnuts, fish (especially salmon, mackerel, tuna, and trout), soy, grass-fed animals and poultry, and eggs high in EPA/DHA. In addition, do as I do, and take 2,000 mg per day of a concentrated EPA/DHA fish oil supplement.
REF: Kobayashi N, Barnard RJ, Henning SM, et al. Effect of altering dietary omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratios on prostate cancer membrane composition, cyclooxygenase-2, and prostaglandin E2. Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Aug 1;12(15):4662-70.
Article contributed by http://www.realcuresletter.com/. © Copyright 2010 Soundview Publishing.