Prostate Health Boost: Can Natural Foods and Special Fiber Win the Fight?

Prostate treatment and maintenance of prostate health are often challenging. Located deep in the pelvis, surrounded by muscles and nerves, the prostate can be difficult to reach surgically. In addition, its close proximity to the urethra, bladder, and important nerves increases the chance of collateral damage from biopsy, surgery, or radiation. To complicate matters, prostate conditions can be indistinct and difficult to diagnose: Symptoms are often vague and their significance may vary from patient to patient. Furthermore, the prostate is influenced by a number of shifting factors such as hormonal profiles, toxic body burden, heavy metal exposure, and nutritional imbalances, among others.

Maximal Intervention, Naturally

One of the principles of my approach to prostate cancer is “maximum diagnosis and minimum intervention.” However, this axiom is most appropriate when discussing conventional diagnostic procedures and treatments, such as biopsy, hormone deprivation therapy, chemo, and surgery. My approach takes a much broader look at the individual rather than focusing on the disease alone. I want to find out not only the characteristics of the cancer itself, but what is going in the internal environment of the person that can be contributing to the disease.

After gathering and considering all of the relevant information about the individual, my second principle is “maximum natural intervention.” This is a highly proactive approach on the part of the patient, rather than “watch and wait,” which has been the more conventional directive. Strategic application of natural therapies that enhance health while simultaneously fighting a prostate condition is an excellent long-term strategy, free of side effects.

New Findings On Superfoods

Results from a groundbreaking six-month clinical trial in Britain show that a supplement containing pomegranate, turmeric, broccoli, and green tea extract reduced PSA levels (a protein indicator of prostate cancer growth) by 63 percent compared to controls. These superfoods are known for their abilities to fight cancer, balance hormones, promote detoxification, and support overall health, particularly in prostate cancer patients. This research confirms that foods and herbs rich in therapeutic compounds such as polyphenols can be successful in fighting prostate cancer.

Blocking An Active Biomarker

An important new disease biomarker called galectin-3 can help clarify the prognosis of prostate conditions and further refine treatment strategies. Research has shown that elevated galectin-3 levels promote and indicate a number of disease conditions, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Because galectin-3 aggressively fuels chronic inflammation, it can also serve as an active marker for prostatitis and BPH. These conditions reduce the quality of life and also put patients at greater risk for prostate cancer.

A study published in 2009 in The American Journal of Pathology showed that reducing levels of galectin-3 inhibited prostate cancer metastasis.

Modified Citrus Pectin

The top proven natural agent for blocking the pro-cancer, pro-inflammatory effects of galectin-3 is modified citrus pectin (MCP).

A number of studies have found that MCP inhibits cancer cell aggregation, angiogenesis and metastasis, and promotes apoptosis (cancer cell death), particularly in prostate cancer.

Other Supplement Research

In addition to the recent study from Britain, research over the past several years has demonstrated that a number of herbal and botanical ingredients, such as saw palmetto berry, grape skin, quercetin, pumpkin seed, pygeum bark, and medicinal mushrooms, can have a positive impact on prostate health through multiple mechanisms of action.

Published studies showed that a botanical prostate formula containing these and other prostate-specific herbs, including those used in the recent Britain study, may have significant anti-cancer effects in aggressive, androgen-independent prostate cancer.

Dietary Approaches

The Western diet, high in pro-inflammatory foods and low in fruits and vegetables, has been implicated in cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. For example, a study published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics found a direct correlation between diet and cancer. Diets low in fat and high in vegetables and fiber may reduce the incidence of prostate cancer. A 2006 review published in the journal Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Patents links the accumulation of lifetime exposure to oxidative stress as a contributing factor to prostate cancer. This lends further support to the importance of a plant-based diet that is naturally high in antioxidant nutrients as well as phytochemicals with powerful antioxidant effects.

A plant-based diet high in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, may be the best dietary approach for prostate health. These vegetables contain indole-3-carbinol, a natural substance that converts to the active dimer DIM (3, 3’-Diindolylmethane), helping to metabolize hormones and address BPH, prostatitis, and prostate cancer via additional mechanisms.

Use Every Tool

One of the guiding principles of integrative prostate care is to incorporate therapies from a broad range of clinical traditions. The goal is to help modulate hormones, boost immunity, reduce inflammation and actively fight the condition via multiple mechanisms — while simultaneously supporting the patient’s overall health. Finally, it’s important to include the use of mind-body medicine to address underlying factors and help the person heal himself holistically. By adopting such a multifaceted, integrative approach, we can treat the underlying causes of prostate conditions and work strategically — using leading advancements in the field to effectively restore health.

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