Prostate cancer is the most common cancer for men, and as I know people who have been affected, it does rather concentrate my mind.
And it’s getting more common in the western world. A report from Prostate Cancer UK in January 2020 shows that: “New nationwide data shows the number of men dying from prostate cancer in the UK has exceeded 12,000 in one year for the first time ever. This is despite medical advances in diagnosing and treating prostate cancer.”
For many years, maybe decades, I’ve been taking a supplement of “Saw Palmetto”, which is supposed to be preventative. So far, I’ve had no problems with my prostate, but how to know whether I’m just lucky?
According to WebMD (and similarly elsewhere) “While several small studies suggest that saw palmetto may be effective for treating BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia, ie. an enlarged prostate gland), most larger trials found little or no evidence that saw palmetto affects prostate disease.”
In “How Not to Die”, Doctor Greger has plenty to say.
• Milk: The concern is growth hormones in the milk (even if organic), and natural chemicals in milk that cause an increase of “IGF-1” ( a growth factor) in the body. He recommends avoiding all dairy.
• Eggs: An egg a day doubles the risk of cancer progression (Metastising). 2 ½ eggs per week gives 80% increase in risk of dying from prostate cancer. So cut out eggs.
• Poultry: Regular consumption of chicken and turkey gives 5 times the risk of cancer progression. So no to chicken too.
• Cruciferous (eg. Cabbage) vegetables: One serving a day halves the rate of progression. Other good preventative foods are: Soya, Flaxseeds, Onions, Legumes.
The Mayo Clinic has these suggestions for prevention:
“There’s no proven prostate cancer prevention strategy. But you may reduce your risk of prostate cancer by making healthy choices, such as exercising and eating a healthy diet.” In particular:
“Choose a low-fat diet. Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat each day. Reduce the amount of dairy products you eat each day. Maintain a healthy weight. Exercise most days of the week.”
So, as with other cancers and ailments, going vegan and wholefoods, with daily exercise, seems to be a sensible approach. But I’ll still be taking my Saw Palmetto too! Studies say it’ll do no harm, and if it delays me getting an enlarged prostate, that’s good enough for me.Lindens Saw Palmetto 500mg Tablets | 100 Pack | Standardised to Provide 22.5mg Fatty Acids & Sterols, Popular Supplement for Middle Aged Men
Lindens Saw Palmetto 500mg Tablets contains a concentrated extract of Saw Palmetto fruit, equivalent to 500mg whole dried berries, standardised to provide 22.5mg fatty acids and sterols.
Mayo Clinic on Prostate Cancer prevention: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prostate-cancer/in-depth/prostate-cancer-prevention/art-20045641
WebMD on Saw Palmetto: https://www.webmd.com/prostate-cancer/saw-palmetto-and-the-prostate