Life Extension Magazine February 2010
Optimal Prostate Defense Requires a Multi-Modal Strategy
By Julius Goepp, MD
Unique Mineral Protection
The trace element boron combats prostate cancer through a unique combination of underlying mechanisms. Calcium channel signaling is a major regulator of cancer cell proliferation, and yet has received little attention in cancer prevention. Higher boron levels in the blood lower the risk of prostate cancer by reducing intracellular calcium signals and storage.78 At normal concentrations, boron operates selectively, inhibiting prostate cancer cell proliferation while allowing healthy prostate cells to grow.79
In animal models boron supplementation inhibited growth of human prostate cancer cells and reduced the size of implanted tumors, reducing local expression of a vital growth factor—a cancer-fighting mechanism unique to boron.80 Another study demonstrated that when combined with phytosterols, boron amplifies the suppression of cancer cell growth.81
Several large human studies have shown that higher dietary boron intake lowers prostate cancer risk. In one study, men with the highest boron intake halved their prostate cancer risk compared to those with the least intake.82
Lycopene is an antioxidant carotenoid found in tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, and guava. Multiple studies have found that higher intake of lycopene is associated with decreased cancer risk.83-87 It inhibits prostate cancer cell growth in culture, halting the reproductive cell cycle and inducing apoptosis.85,88 Lycopene possesses two unique chemopreventive features:
1. It interferes with internal sex hormone-regulated signaling among cancer cells to prevent coordinated growth.89
2. It disrupts DNA synthesis in growing prostate cell cultures, but also protects healthy DNA from damage.90,91
In an early human trial, lycopene improved post-surgical survival rates in aggressively treated patients with advanced prostate cancer, reducing levels of PSA, and shrinking both the primary tumor and metastases.92 More recent large-scale studies of men with prostate cancer showed that lycopene—alone or in combination with phytosterols and antioxidants—slowed and even halted rising PSA levels.93,94 A 2008 human study demonstrated that lycopene slows disease progression in men with BPH.22
Fifty percent of men will eventually suffer enlarged prostate from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. These age-related changes are far from inevitable. Saw palmetto extract is one of several natural compounds with clinically proven value in reducing symptoms of BPH and risk factors for prostate cancer. Each works by uniquely different mechanisms to confer multiple benefits and effective protection. Through a combination of direct impact on prostate tissue and powerful modulation of gene expression, these compounds operate through synergistic and complementary modes of action, attacking BPH and prostate cancer on multiple fronts. Compared to single-target drugs that provide only partial relief (and come with undesirable side effects), these natural interventions provide aging men with a safe, low-cost, alternative—for lifelong prostate health.
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.
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