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Supplements may help prevent prostate cancer

Published On: Dec 18 2012 03:13:43 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 03 2013 09:53:29 AM CST
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iStockPhoto / RapidEye

By Pure Matters

Which nutrients help lower your risk for cancer? The answer seems to change from day to day, as medical research uncovers new compounds that may be cancer protective and at the same time concludes that others haven't lived up to their cancer reducing potential. Here's the latest on three that show lots of promise for fighting cancer.

Vitamin D: Defense Against Cancer and Tumors
Evidence has been mounting that vitamin D may protect against (or increase survival rates if you have) breast cancer, as well as cancers of the rectum, ovary, prostate, stomach, bladder, esophagus, kidney, lung, pancreas, and uterus, as well as non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Recently, researchers uncovered one function of vitamin D that may help explain its anti-tumor talents: In the presence of this vitamin, tumor-suppressing compounds in cells that are normally shut off when a cancer develops keep on functioning.

Many experts recommend supplements as the best source of vitamin D. Why? Very few foods provide it -- they include canned salmon, sardines, and fortified milk and orange juice. Vitamin D is also produced in your skin during exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. But we're getting less sun exposure, in our efforts to reduce risk for skin cancer. Researchers estimate that one billion people around the world are low on vitamin D, including half of all menopausal women and at least 40 percent of elderly women and men. The recommended daily allowance for D was recently increased to 600 International Units for adults up to age 70, 800 IU thereafter; the safe upper limit is 4,000 IU per day.

Resveratrol: Reduce Cancer Risk, Slow Disease
Resveratrol has been found to block the growth of tumor cells in cancers of the breast, prostate, stomach, colon, pancreas, and thyroid. And in other lab studies, this antioxidant slowed the development of cancers of the esophagus and intestines too. The truly amazing part: Resveratrol has been shown to put the brakes on all stages of cancer -- from DNA damage in cells to when cancerous cells begin to invade surrounding healthy tissue and spread. To find resveratrol, look to red wine, grapes, raspberries, peanuts, and supplements.

Lycopene: Help to Prevent Prostate Cancer
Could this compound, also found in abundance in cooked tomato products like spaghetti sauce, save your prostate? Truth is, research has yielded mixed results. But according to the American Cancer Society, some studies have found that men who get lots of lycopene seem to have lower risk for this common male cancer. Others haven't found a link -- perhaps because not all men carry a fortunate genetic variation called XRCC1 that helps fix DNA damage.

So while the research continues, some nutrients already shine in the war against cancer. Take advantage.


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