Pasteurized milk linked to testicular, prostate and breast cancer


Image: Pasteurized milk linked to testicular, prostate and breast cancer

You better think twice about grabbing that carton of pasteurized milk during your next grocery trip. A study recently conducted by Harvard University showed that pasteurized milk products from factory farms may cause hormone-dependent cancers. Apparently, the concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) model of raising cows on factory farms churns out milk with dangerously high levels of estrone sulfate, an estrogen compound linked to testicular, prostate and breast cancers.

Dr. Ganmaa Davaasambuu and her colleagues specifically identified “milk from modern dairy farms” as the culprit, referring to large-scale confinement operations that milk cows 300 days a year, even while the animals are pregnant. Compared to raw milk extracted only during the first six months after a cow’s pregnancy, pasteurized factory milk was found to contain up to 33 times more estrone sulfate.

Evaluating data from all over the world, Dr. Davaasambuu and her colleagues identified a clear link between consumption of such high-hormone milk, and high rates ofhormone-dependent cancers. In other words, contrary to what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and that catchy milk advertisement would have you believe, drinking processed milk is not good for your health.

Don’t be fooled by Big Dairy and mainstream media’s colorful lies. Take a stand against the multimillion dollar dairy industry and keep yourself informed; always choose raw, organic milk from grass-fed cows instead of milk produced by industrial dairies. If you remain unconvinced by Dr. Davaasambuu’s Harvard study, there is a wealth of information on the health benefits of raw milk available at alternative news websites, such asNatural News.

Always choose clean, organic food. Raw, organic milk has long been proven to improve digestion, heal autoimmune disorders and boost overall immunity. Why choose the cancer-causing route when you can have this instead?

Are Your Medications Causing or Increasing Incontinence?


If you are struggling with urinary incontinence or your existing incontinence is getting worse, take a look at the medications you are taking. They may contribute to the problem.

There are four groups of medications doctors commonly recommend that can cause or increase incontinence. If you are taking any of these, you should let your doctor know about your incontinence and discuss your medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) to see if there is another approach to control or eliminate the problem.
The most common incontinence problems arise from medications in the following four categories:

1. Diuretics to reduce excess fluid

Diuretics, also known as “water pills,” stimulate the kidneys to expel unneeded water and salt from your tissues and bloodstream into the urine. Getting rid of excess fluid makes it easier for your heart to pump. There are a number of diuretic drugs, but one of the most common is furosemide (Lasix®).

According to urologist Raymond Rackley, MD, approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population suffers from overactive bladder symptoms.

“Many of those patients also have high blood pressure or vascular conditions, such as swelling of the feet or ankles,” he says. “These conditions are often treated with diuretic therapies that make their bladder condition worse in terms of urgency and frequency.”

A first step is to make sure you are following your doctor’s prescription instructions exactly. As an alternative to water pills, Dr. Rackley recommends restricting salt in your diet and exercising for weight loss. Both of these can reduce salt retention and hypertension naturally.

2. Alpha blockers for hypertension

Another class of drugs used to reduce high blood pressure or hypertension by dilating your blood vessels can also cause problems. These medicines are known as alpha blockers. Some of the most common are Cardura®, Minipress® and Hytrin®.

These are usually more of an issue for women. Again, discuss this with your physician, because there are alternative drugs you may be able to take.

Men typically take these to treat an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH) which can restrict urination by putting pressure on the urethra. By relaxing the muscles in the bladder neck, they allow smoother urine flow for those patients.

3. Antidepressants and narcotic pain relievers

Some antidepressants and pain medications can prevent the bladder from contracting completely so that it does not empty. That gives rise to urgency or frequency or voiding dysfunction. They can also decrease your awareness of the need to void.

“Some of these drugs can also cause constipation,” Dr. Rackley says. “Constipation, in turn, can cause indirect bladder incontinence because being constipated takes up more room in the pelvis that the bladder needs to expand.”

4. Sedatives and sleeping pills

Using sedatives and sleeping pills can present a problem, especially if you already have incontinence. They can decrease your awareness of the need to void while you are sleeping.

The best way to address this situation, Dr. Rackley says, is to take other steps to relax and improve your sleep. Getting more exercise to make you tired, for example, can help. It’s also important to maintain a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule. Dr. Rackley says finding other ways to relax before bed — meditation, reading a book or listening to soothing music or sound effects (e.g., rain or waves) — can also help you sleep better.

 

New sensor tracks zinc in cells, could be exploited for early diagnosis of prostate cancer


Zinc, an essential nutrient, is found in every tissue in the body. The vast majority of the metal ion is tightly bound to proteins, helping them to perform biological reactions. Tiny amounts of zinc, however, are only loosely bound, or “mobile,” and thought to be critical for proper function in organs such as the brain, pancreas, and prostate gland. Yet the exact roles the ion plays in biological systems are unknown.

 

 

 

A new optical sensor created at MIT tracks  within cells and should help researchers learn more about its functions. The sensor, which can be targeted to a specific organelle within the cell, fluoresces when it binds to zinc, allowing scientists to determine where the metal is concentrated.

The MIT chemists who designed the sensor have already used it to shed light on why zinc levels, normally high in the prostate, drop dramatically in cancerous prostate cells.

“We can use these tools to study zinc trafficking within prostate cells, both healthy and diseased. By doing so we’re trying to gain insight into how zinc levels within the cell change during the progression of prostate cancer,” says Robert Radford, an MIT postdoc who led the project and who is an author of the paper describing the sensors, which appears in the Dec. 9 issue of theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Radford works in the lab of Stephen Lippard, the Arthur Amos Noyes Professor of Chemistry and senior author of the paper. The paper’s lead author is Wen Chyan, a 2013 MIT graduate.

Researchers in Lippard’s lab are now working on exploiting similar fluorescent sensors to develop a diagnostic test for early detection of , which is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, but is considered very treatable if caught early enough.

Pathway to cancer

Among its known roles, zinc helps to stabilize protein structure and catalyzes some cellular reactions. In the prostate, zinc is believed to help with reproductive functions by aiding in the accumulation of citrate, a component of semen. Within mitochondria of epithelial prostate cells, zinc has been shown to inhibit the metabolic enzyme aconitase. By blocking the activity of aconitase, zinc truncates the citric acid cycle, the series of reactions that produce ATP, the cells’ major energy currency.

Scientists have theorized that when prostate cells become cancerous, they banish zinc from mitochondria (the cell structures where most ATP production occurs). This allows the cancer cell to produce the extra energy it needs to grow and divide.

“If a cell is dividing uncontrollably and it needs a lot of chemical energy, then it definitely wouldn’t want zinc interfering with aconitase and preventing production of more ATP,” Radford says.

The new MIT study supports this theory by showing that, although cancerous prostate cells can absorb zinc, the metal does not accumulate in the mitochondria, as it does in normal .

This finding suggests that, in normal cells, zinc is probably transported into mitochondria by a specialized transport protein, but such a protein has not been identified, Radford says. In cancer cells, this protein might be inactivated.

Follow the zinc

The new zinc sensor relies on a molecule that Lippard’s lab first developed more than 10 years ago, known as Zinpyr1 (ZP1). ZP1 is based on a dye known as fluorescein, but it is modified to fluoresce only when it binds to zinc.

The ZP1 sensor can simply be added to a dish of cells grown in the lab, where it will diffuse into the cells. Until now, a major drawback of the sensor was the difficulty in targeting specific structures within a cell. “We have had some success using proteins and peptides to target small molecule zinc sensors,” Radford says, “but most of the time the sensors get captured in acidic vesicles within the cell and become inactive.”

Lippard’s team overcame that obstacle by making two changes: First, they installed a zinc-reactive protecting group, which altered the physical properties of the sensor and made it easier to target. Second, they attached an “address tag” that directs ZP1 into mitochondria. This tag, which is a derivative of triphenylphosphonium, is tailored to enter the mitochondria because it is both positively charged and hydrophobic. The resulting sensor readily entered cells and allowed the researchers to visualize pools of mobile zinc within .

“This is an exciting new concept for sensing using a combination of reaction- and recognition-based approaches, which has potential applications for diagnostics involving zinc misregulation,” says Christopher Chang, a professor of chemistry and molecular and cell biology at the University of California at Berkeley who was not part of the research team.

In future studies, the researchers plan to expand their strategy to create a palette of sensors that target many other organelles in the cell.

“The identification of intracellular targets for mobile zinc is an important step in understanding its true function in biological signaling. The next steps will involve discovery of the specific biochemical pathways that are affected by zinc binding to receptors in the organelles, such as proteins, and elucidating the structural and attendant functional changes that occur in the process,” Lippard says.

The lab’s immediate interest is study of zinc in the brain, where it is believed to act as a neurotransmitter. By understanding mobile zinc in the auditory cortex, optic nerve, and olfactory bulb, the researchers hope to figure out its role in the senses of hearing, sight, and smell.

 

Testosterone Decline: How to Address This Challenge to ‘Manhood’.


Story at-a-glance

  • Testosterone is an androgenic sex hormone produced by the testicles (and in smaller amounts in the ovaries of women), and is often associated with “manhood.” Testosterone levels in men naturally decline with age – beginning at age 30 – and continue to do so as men advance in years. Unfortunately, widespread chemical exposure is causing this decline to occur in men as early as childhood.
  • Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) such as phthalates, BPA, PFOA, and metalloestrogens lurk inside your house, leaching from human products such as personal hygiene products, chemical cleansers, or contraceptive drugs. They may also end up in your food and drinking water.
  • To reduce your exposure to EDCs, replace chemical sources such as pots and pans, commercial cleansers, and processed foods with natural products and organic foods.
  • There are numerous options to deal with age-related testosterone decline. Hormone replacement therapy, saw palmetto and other supplements, weight management through diet, exercise, and stress management are some recommended strategies.
  • Running Exercise

Testosterone is an androgenic sex hormone produced by the testicles (and in smaller amounts in women’s ovaries), and is often associated with “manhood.” Primarily, this hormone plays a great role in men’s sexual and reproductive function. It also contributes to their muscle mass, hair growth, maintaining bone density, red blood cell production, and emotional health.

Although testosterone is considered a male sex hormone, women, while having it at relatively low levels, are more sensitive to its effects.

Prostate GlandsWhile conventional medical thought stresses that testosterone is a catalyst for prostate cancer,1 even employing castration (orchiectomy) as a form of treatment, recent findings have shown otherwise.

The prostate gland requires testosterone for it to remain at optimal condition

Testosterone levels in men naturally decline with age – beginning at age 30 – and continue to do so as men advance in years.

Aging-induced testosterone decline is associated with the overactivity of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This process simultaneously decreases the amount of testosterone in men, putting them at risk for prostate enlargement, androgenic alopecia (hair loss) and cancer.

Unfortunately, widespread chemical exposure is also causing this decline to occur in men as early as childhood, and is completely impacting their biology. Recently, for instance, both statin drugs and the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide were found to interfere with the testicle’s ability to produce testosterone.2

How Do Environmental Toxins Affect Your Testosterone Production?

What’s even more alarming is that many of these endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have “gender-bending” qualities.

EDCs are everywhere. They lurk inside your house, leaching from human products such as personal hygiene products, chemical cleansers, or contraceptive drugs. They also end up in your food and drinking water, causing you to unknowingly ingest them.

EDCs pose a threat to men’s health as they interfere with testosterone production, causing men to take on more feminine characteristics.

Here’s one proof: in a number of British rivers, 50 percent of male fish were found to produce eggs in their testes. According to EurekAlert,3 EDCs have been entering rivers and other waterways through sewage systems for years, altering the biology of male fish. It was also found that fish species affected by EDCs had 76 percent reduction in their reproductive function.

EDCs Can Affect Men’s Health as Early as Infancy

Sexual development in both girls and boys are occurring earlier than expected. In a study published in the journal Pediatrics,4boys are experiencing sexual development six months to two years earlier than the medically-accepted norm, due to exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals.

Some boys even develop enlarged testicles and penis, armpit or pubic hair, as well as facial hair as early as age nine! Early puberty is not something to be taken lightly because it can significantly influence physical and psychological health, including an increased risk of hormone-related cancers. Precocious sexual development may also lead to emotional and behavioral issues, such as:

Depression Low Self-Esteem

  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Earlier loss of virginity and multiple sexual partners
  • Increased risk of sexually-transmitted diseases

Pregnant or nursing women who are exposed to EDCs can transfer these chemicals to their child. Exposure to EDCs during pregnancy affects the development of male fetuses. Fewer boys have been born in the United States and Japan in the last three decades. The more women are exposed to these hormone-disrupting substances, the greater the chance that their sons will have smaller genitals and incomplete testicular descent, leading to poor reproductive health in the long term. EDCs are also a threat to male fertility, as they contribute to testicular cancer and lower sperm count. All of these birth defects and abnormalities, collectively referred to as Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome (TDS), are linked to the impaired production of testosterone.5

Phthalates and Other EDCs: A Pernicious Mix

Pregnant WomanPhthalates are another class of gender-bending chemicals that can “feminize” men. A chemical often added to plastics, these endocrine-disrupting chemicals have a disastrous effect on male hormones and reproductive health. They are linked to birth defects in male infants and appear to alter the genital tracts of boys to be more femalelike.

Phthalates are found to cause poor testosterone synthesis by disrupting an enzyme required to create the male hormone. Women with high levels of DEHP and DBP (two types of phthalates) in their system during pregnancy were found to have sons that had feminine characteristics Phthalates are found in vinyl flooring, detergents, automotive plastics, soaps and shampoos, deodorants, perfumes, hair sprays, plastic bags and food packaging, among a long list of common products. Aside from phthalates, other chemicals that possess gender-bending traits are:

  1. Bisphenol-A (BPA) – Common in plastic products such as reusable water bottles, food cans, and dental sealants. BPA can alter fetal development and heighten breast cancer risk in women.
  2. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) – A potential carcinogen commonly used in water- and grease-resistant food coatings.
  3. Methoxychlor (insecticide) and Vinclozin (fungicide) – Shown in studies to induce changes in four subsequent generations of male mice after initial exposure.
  4. Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) – Potent endocrine-disruptors that can interfere with your gene expression and glandular system. They are also referred to as estrogen-mimicking chemicals that have been implicated in unnatural sex changes in male marine species.
  5. Bovine growth hormones – Estrogen-mimicking and growth-promoting chemicals that are added to commercial dairy products.
  6. Unfermented soy products – Contain antinutrients and hormone-like substances, and are NOT health foods (contrary to popular belief). Visit this page to learn more about the dangers of soy.
  7. MSG – A food additive that can impact reproductive health and fertility.
  8. Fluoride – A potent neurotoxin found in certain US water supplies and is linked to endocrine disruption, decreased fertility rates, and lower sperm counts.
  9. Pharmaceuticals that provide synthetic hormones – Pharmaceuticals like contraceptives and provide you with synthetic hormones that your body isn’t designed to respond to and detoxify properly. Chronic illnesses may result from long-term use of these drugs.
  10. Metalloestrogens – A class of cancer-causing estrogen-mimicking compounds that can be found in thousands of consumer products. Included in the list of potent metalloestrogens are aluminum, antimony, copper, lead, mercury, cadmium, and tin.

How to Limit Your Exposure to Gender-Bending Chemicals

Teflon CookwareIt may be unlikely to completely eliminate products with EDCs, but there are a number of practical strategies that you can try to limit your exposure to these gender-bending substances. The first step would be to stop using Teflon cookware, as EDCs can leach out from contaminated cookware. Replace them with ceramic ones. Stop eating out of cans, as the sealant used for the can liner is almost always made from powerful endocrine-disrupting petrochemicals known as bisphenols, e.g. Bisphenol A,
Bisphenol S.

You should also get rid of cleaning products loaded with chemicals, artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, vinyl shower curtains, chemical-laden shampoos, and personal hygiene products. Replace them all with natural, toxin-free alternatives. Adjusting your diet can also help, since many processed foods contain gender-bending toxins. Switch to organic foods, which are cultivated without chemical interventions.

How to Address Aging-Related Testosterone Decline

As mentioned above, your testosterone stores also decline naturally as you age. However, there are methods that can help boost your levels. Below are some options you can consider:

The Hormone Replacement Method

Memory ProblemIf you suspect that you have insufficient testosterone stores, you should have your levels tested. Issues linked to testosterone decline include:

  • Decreased sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Depressed mood
  • Memory problems
  • Impaired concentration

A blood test may not be enough to determine your levels, because testosterone levels can fluctuate during the day. Once you determine that you do have low levels, there are a number of options to take. There are synthetic and bioidentical testosterone products out on the market, but I advise using bioidentical hormones like DHEA. DHEA is a hormone secreted by your adrenal glands in your brain. This substance is the most abundant precursor hormone in the human body. It is crucial for the creation of vital hormones, including testosterone and other sex hormones.

The natural production of DHEA is also age-dependent. Prior to puberty, the body produces very little DHEA. Production of this prohormone peaks during your late 20’s or early 30’s. With age, DHEA production begins to decline. The adrenal glands also manufacture the stress hormone cortisol, which is in direct competition with DHEA for production because they use the same hormonal substrate known as pregnenolone. Chronic stress basically causes excessive cortisol levels and impairs DHEA production, which is why stress is another factor for low testosterone levels.

It is important not to use any DHEA product without the supervision of a professional. Find a qualified health care provider who will monitor your hormone levels and determine if you require supplementation. Rather than using an oral hormone supplementation, I recommend trans-mucosal (vagina or rectum) application. Skin application may not be wise, as it makes it difficult to measure the dosage you receive. This may cause you to end up receiving more than what your body requires.

I recommend using a trans-mucosal DHEA cream. Applying it to the rectum or if you are a a woman, your vagina, will allow the mucous epithelial membranes that line your mucosa to perform effective absorption. These membranes regulate absorption and inhibit the production of unwanted metabolites of DHEA. I personally apply 50 milligrams of trans-rectal DHEA cream twice a day – this has improved my own testosterone levels significantly. However, please note that I do NOT recommend prolonged supplementation of hormones. Doing so can trick your body into halting its own DHEA production and may cause your adrenals to become seriously impaired down.

Saw Palmetto and the Testosterone-Prostate Cancer Myth

Prostate hyperplasia (BPH), or simply an enlarged prostate, is a serious problem among men, especially those over age 60. As I’ve pointed out, high testosterone levels are not a precursor to an enlarged prostate or cancer; rather, excessive DHT and estrogen levels formed as metabolites of testosterone are. Conventional medicine uses two classes of drugs to treat BPH, each having a number of serious side effects. These are:

  1. Alpha-blockers, such as Flomax, Hytrin, Cardura, and Rapaflo – These relax smooth muscles, including your bladder and prostate. They work to improve urine flow, but do NOT do anything to reduce the size of an enlarged prostate.
  2. 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, like Avodart and Proscar – The enzyme 5-alpha reductase converts testosterone to DHT, which stimulates the prostate. Although this class of drugs does limit the production of DHT and shrinks an enlarged prostate, it comes with a number of significant risks, including a higher chance of developing prostate cancer.

According to Dr. Rudi Moerck, an expert in chemistry and drug industry insider, men who have low levels of testosterone may experience the following problems:

  • Weight gain
  • Breast enlargement
  • Problems with urinating

Saw PalmettoInstead of turning to some drug that can only ameliorate symptoms and cause additional complications, I recommend using a natural saw palmetto supplement. Dr. Moerck says that there are about 100 clinical studies on the benefits of saw palmetto, one of them being a contributed to decreased prostate cancer risk. When choosing a saw palmetto supplement, you should be wary of the brand, as there are those that use an inactive form of the plant.

Saw palmetto is a very potent supplement, but only if a high-quality source is used. Dr. Moerck recommends using an organic supercritical CO2 extract of saw palmetto oil, which is dark green in color. Since saw palmetto is a fat-soluble supplement, taking it with eggs will enhance the absorption of its nutrients.
There is also solid research indicating that if you take astaxanthin in combination with saw palmetto, you may experience significant synergistic benefits. A 2009 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that an optimal dose of saw palmetto and astaxanthin decreased both DHT and estrogen while simultaneously increasingtestosterone.6 Also, in order to block the synthesis of excess estrogen (estradiol) from testosterone there are excellent foods and plant extracts that may help to block the enzyme known as aromatase which is responsible producing estrogen. Some of these include white button mushrooms, grape seed extract and nettles.7

Nutrients That Can Help Boost Testosterone Levels

In addition to using bioidentical hormones or saw palmetto, there are two nutrients that have been found to be beneficial to testicular health and testosterone production.

Zinc

OystersZinc is an important mineral in testosterone production.8 Yet, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that about 45 percent of adults over 60 have low zinc levels due to insufficient intake. Regardless of supplementation, 20 to 25 percent of older adults still had inadequate levels.9

It was found that supplementing with zinc for as little as six weeks has been shown to improve testosterone in men with low levels. On the other hand, restricting zinc dietary sources yielded to a drop in the production of the male hormone.10 Excellent sources of zinc include:

  • Oysters
  • Protein-rich foods like meats and fish
  • Raw milk and raw cheese
  • Beans
  • Fermented foods, like yogurt and kefir

You may also take a zinc supplement to raise your levels. Just stick to a dosage of less than 40 milligrams a day. Overdosing on zinc may cause nausea or inhibit the absorption of essential minerals in your body, like copper.

Vitamin D

Sun Exposure Vitamin DVitamin D deficiency is a growing epidemic in the US, and is profoundly affecting men’s health. The cholesterol-derived steroid hormone vitamin D is crucial for men’s health. It plays a role in the development of the sperm cell nucleus, and helps maintain semen quality and sperm count. Vitamin D can also increase your testosterone level, helping improve your libido. Have your vitamin D levels tested using a 25(OH)D or a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. The optimal level of vitamin D is around 50 to 70 ng/ml for adults. There are three effective sources of vitamin D:

  • Healthy sun exposure
  • Safe-tanning beds
  • Vitamin D3 supplementation

Learn more about how to optimize your vitamin D levels by watching my 1-hour lecture on vitamin D.

The Connection Between Weight and Low Testosterone Levels

Belly Fat OverweightResearch presented at the Endocrine Society’s 2012 conference discussed the link between weight and testosterone levels. Overweight men were more prone to having low testosterone levels, and shedding excess pounds may alleviate this problem. Managing your weight means you have to manage your diet. Below are some ways to jumpstart a healthy diet:

    • Limit processed sugar in your diet, as excessive sugar consumption (mainly fructose) is the driving force of obesity. But this isn’t a license to useartificial sweeteners, because these also have their share of negative effects.

It is ideal to keep your total fructose consumption, including fructose from fruits, below 25 grams a day. If you have a chronic condition like diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, it is wise to keep it below 15 grams per day.

    • Eliminate refined carbohydrates from processed foods, like cereals and soda, because they contribute to insulin resistance.
    • Consume vegetable carbohydrates and healthy fats. Your body requires the carbohydrates from fresh vegetables rather than grains and sugars. In addition to mono- or polyunsaturated fats found in avocados and raw nuts, saturated fats are also essential to building your testosterone production. According to research, there was a decrease in testosterone stores in people who consumed a diet low in animal-based fat.11 Aside from avocados and raw nuts, ideal sources of healthy fat that can boost your testosterone levels include:
Olives and olive oil Coconuts and coconut oil Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk
Raw nuts, such as almonds or pecans Organic pastured egg yolks Avocados
Grass-fed meats Palm oil Unheated organic nut oils
  • Consume organic dairy products, like high-quality cheeses and whey protein, to boost your branch chain amino acids (BCAA). According to research, BCAAs were found to raise testosterone levels, particularly when taken with strength training.12 While there are supplements that provide BCAAs, I believe that leucine, found in dairy products, carries the highest concentrations of this beneficial amino acid.

For a more comprehensive look at what you should or shouldn’t eat, refer to my nutrition plan.

Exercise as a Testosterone Booster

Unlike aerobics or prolonged moderate exercise, short, intense exercise was found to be beneficial in increasing testosterone levels. The results are enhanced with the help of intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting helps boost testosterone by improving the expression of satiety hormones, like insulin, leptin, adiponectin, glucacgon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), cholecystokinin (CKK), and melanocortins, which are linked to healthy testosterone function, increased libido, and the prevention of age-induced testosterone decline. When it comes to an exercise plan that will complement testosterone function and production (along with overall health), I recommend including not just aerobics in your routine, but also:

  • High-intensity interval training – Work out all your muscle fibers in under 20 to 30 minutes. Learn more about my Peak Fitness regimen.
  • Strength training – When you use strength training to raise your testosterone, you’ll want to increase the weight and lower your number of reps. Focus on doing exercises that work a wider number of muscles, such as squats or dead lifts. Take your workout to the next level by learning the principles of Super-Slow Weight Training.

Address Your Chronic Stress, Too

MeditationThe production of the stress hormone cortisol blocks the production and effects of testosterone. From a biological perspective, cortisol increases your “fight or flight” response, thereby lowering testosterone-associated functions such as mating, competing, and aggression. Chronic stress can take a toll on testosterone production, as well as your overall health. Therefore, stress management is equally important to a healthy diet and regular exercise. Tools you can use to stay stress-free include prayer, meditation, laughter, and yoga. Relaxation skills, such as deep breathing and visualization, can also promote your emotional health.

Among my favorite stress management tools is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), a method similar to acupuncture but without the use of needles. EFT is known to eliminate negative behavior and instill a positive mentality. Always bear in mind that your emotional health is strongly linked to your physical health, and you have to pay attention to your negative feelings as much as you do to the foods you eat.

References:

18-Year Study Finds Drug Cut Prostate Cancer Risk.


A drug used to treat enlarged prostateand male pattern baldness also reduces a man’s risk of prostate cancer by nearly a third, according to a large new study.

The findings on nearly 19,000 men also overturn earlier concerns that treatment withfinasteride – the agent in the prostate drugProscar and the hair-loss drug Propecia – might promote the development of more virulent prostate cancers in men who contract the disease, researchers said.

Finasteride did not affect overall survival rates or survival rates after diagnosis with prostate cancer for men who did and did not receive the drug, said study lead author Dr. Ian Thompson, a urologist and professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center.

“If indeed the more high-grade cancers in the men taking finasteride were real, we would expect to find a higher death rate,” Thompson said. “The survival of these men was exactly the same.”

Published in the Aug. 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, the study is an 18-year follow-up on the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, which took place in the late 1990s. Back then, the trial found that finasteride could reduce overall risk of prostate cancer by 25 percent – but that it increased by 27 percent the risk of high-grade prostate cancer in those men who did wind up with the disease.

The concern over the high-grade cancer findings led officials back then to decline recommending finasteride as a prostate cancer prevention tool. “Basically, this potential home-run prostate cancer intervention never happened,” Thompson said.

When checking back with the men involved in the earlier trial, researchers behind the new study found that the drug actually worked better than earlier reported in reducing prostate cancer risk.

They also found that detection of high-grade cancers occurred in 3.5 percent of prostate cancer patients who took finasteride and 3 percent of patients given a placebo. There was no difference between the finasteride and placebo groups regarding overall long-term survival or survival following a prostate cancer diagnosis.

“It shows that the higher proportion of high-grade disease doesn’t really matter, because it doesn’t affect the risk of death,” said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society.

Brawley said the increased diagnosis of high-grade prostate cancer likely occurs due to finasteride’s effectiveness in shrinking enlarged prostates.

“You take Proscar for six months to a year and it halves the size of your prostate, but the cancer inside your prostate does not shrink,” Brawley said. “If I’m performing a biopsy on a smaller prostate, I’m more likely to hit that cancer than if I am sticking into a larger prostate. This drug wasn’t causing more prostate cancer. It’s causing more prostate cancer to be diagnosed.”

Since finasteride does not affect survival rates, its true value may lie in reducing the diagnosis of minor prostate cancers that should not be treated, Thompson and Brawley said.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly detected form of cancer in men, found in one in six men during their lifetimes, Thompson said. Prostate cancer kills only 3 percent to 5 percent of men, however.

Most men “will get away with it, dying of causes other than prostate cancer,” Thompson said.

Because of this, prostate cancer has become an overtreated disease, with men suffering side effects such as impotence and incontinence because they received treatment for a cancer that wasn’t likely to lead to their deaths, Brawley said.

“It does not affect a man’s risk of death at all to take finasteride, but if he takes finasteride it will lower his risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer,” Brawley said. “Half to 60 percent of men who were diagnosed with localized prostate cancer, if it was never diagnosed, it would never have bothered them in their lifetimes. We cure some people who never need to be cured.”

Source: Drugs.com

Testosterone Decline: How to Address This Challenge to ‘Manhood’.


Story at-a-glance

  • Testosterone is an androgenic sex hormone produced by the testicles (and in smaller amounts in the ovaries of women), and is often associated with “manhood.” Testosterone levels in men naturally decline with age – beginning at age 30 – and continue to do so as men advance in years. Unfortunately, widespread chemical exposure is causing this decline to occur in men as early as childhood.
  • Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) such as phthalates, BPA, PFOA, and metalloestrogens lurk inside your house, leaching from human products such as personal hygiene products, chemical cleansers, or contraceptive drugs. They may also end up in your food and drinking water.
  • To reduce your exposure to EDCs, replace chemical sources such as pots and pans, commercial cleansers, and processed foods with natural products and organic foods.
  • There are numerous options to deal with age-related testosterone decline. Hormone replacement therapy, saw palmetto and other supplements, weight management through diet, exercise, and stress management are some recommended strategies.

testosterone

Testosterone is an androgenic sex hormone produced by the testicles (and in smaller amounts in women’s ovaries), and is often associated with “manhood.” Primarily, this hormone plays a great role in men’s sexual and reproductive function. It also contributes to their muscle mass, hair growth, maintaining bone density, red blood cell production, and emotional health.

Although testosterone is considered a male sex hormone, women, while having it at relatively low levels, are more sensitive to its effects.

While conventional medical thought stresses that testosterone is a catalyst for prostate cancer,1 even employing castration (orchiectomy) as a form of treatment, recent findings have shown otherwise.

The prostate gland requires testosterone for it to remain at optimal condition

Testosterone levels in men naturally decline with age – beginning at age 30 – and continue to do so as men advance in years.

Aging-induced testosterone decline is associated with the overactivity of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This process simultaneously decreases the amount of testosterone in men, putting them at risk for prostate enlargement, androgenic alopecia (hair loss) and cancer.

Unfortunately, widespread chemical exposure is also causing this decline to occur in men as early as childhood, and is completely impacting their biology. Recently, for instance, both statin drugs and the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide were found to interfere with the testicle’s ability to produce testosterone.2

prostate-gland

How Do Environmental Toxins Affect Your Testosterone Production?

The escalating amount of chemicals being released into the environment can no longer be ignored, as these toxins are disrupting animal and human endocrine systems.

What’s even more alarming is that many of these endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have “gender-bending” qualities.

EDCs are everywhere. They lurk inside your house, leaching from human products such as personal hygiene products, chemical cleansers, or contraceptive drugs. They also end up in your food and drinking water, causing you to unknowingly ingest them.

EDCs pose a threat to men’s health as they interfere with testosterone production, causing men to take on more feminine characteristics.

Here’s one proof: in a number of British rivers, 50 percent of male fish were found to produce eggs in their testes. According to EurekAlert,3 EDCs have been entering rivers and other waterways through sewage systems for years, altering the biology of male fish. It was also found that fish species affected by EDCs had 76 percent reduction in their reproductive function.

EDCs Can Affect Men’s Health as Early as Infancy

Sexual development in both girls and boys are occurring earlier than expected. In a study published in the journal Pediatrics,4boys are experiencing sexual development six months to two years earlier than the medically-accepted norm, due to exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals.

Some boys even develop enlarged testicles and penis, armpit or pubic hair, as well as facial hair as early as age nine! Early puberty is not something to be taken lightly because it can significantly influence physical and psychological health, including an increased risk of hormone-related cancers. Precocious sexual development may also lead to emotional and behavioral issues, such as:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Earlier loss of virginity and multiple sexual partners
  • Increased risk of sexually-transmitted diseases

Pregnant or nursing women who are exposed to EDCs can transfer these chemicals to their child. Exposure to EDCs during pregnancy affects the development of male fetuses. Fewer boys have been born in the United States and Japan in the last three decades. The more women are exposed to these hormone-disrupting substances, the greater the chance that their sons will have smaller genitals and incomplete testicular descent, leading to poor reproductive health in the long term. EDCs are also a threat to male fertility, as they contribute to testicular cancer and lower sperm count. All of these birth defects and abnormalities, collectively referred to as Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome (TDS), are linked to the impaired production of testosterone.5

Phthalates and Other EDCs: A Pernicious Mix

Phthalates are another class of gender-bending chemicals that can “feminize” men. A chemical often added to plastics, these endocrine-disrupting chemicals have a disastrous effect on male hormones and reproductive health. They are linked to birth defects in male infants and appear to alter the genital tracts of boys to be more femalelike.

Phthalates are found to cause poor testosterone synthesis by disrupting an enzyme required to create the male hormone. Women with high levels of DEHP and DBP (two types of phthalates) in their system during pregnancy were found to have sons that had feminine characteristics Phthalates are found in vinyl flooring, detergents, automotive plastics, soaps and shampoos, deodorants, perfumes, hair sprays, plastic bags and food packaging, among a long list of common products. Aside from phthalates, other chemicals that possess gender-bending traits are:

  1. Bisphenol-A (BPA) – Common in plastic products such as reusable water bottles, food cans, and dental sealants. BPA can alter fetal development and heighten breast cancer risk in women.
  2. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) – A potential carcinogen commonly used in water- and grease-resistant food coatings.
  3. Methoxychlor (insecticide) and Vinclozin (fungicide) – Shown in studies to induce changes in four subsequent generations of male mice after initial exposure.
  4. Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) – Potent endocrine-disruptors that can interfere with your gene expression and glandular system. They are also referred to as estrogen-mimicking chemicals that have been implicated in unnatural sex changes in male marine species.
  5. Bovine growth hormones – Estrogen-mimicking and growth-promoting chemicals that are added to commercial dairy products.
  6. Unfermented soy products – Contain antinutrients and hormone-like substances, and are NOT health foods (contrary to popular belief). Visit this page to learn more about the dangers of soy.
  7. MSG – A food additive that can impact reproductive health and fertility.
  8. Fluoride – A potent neurotoxin found in certain US water supplies and is linked to endocrine disruption, decreased fertility rates, and lower sperm counts.
  9. Pharmaceuticals that provide synthetic hormones – Pharmaceuticals like contraceptives and provide you with synthetic hormones that your body isn’t designed to respond to and detoxify properly. Chronic illnesses may result from long-term use of these drugs.
  10. Metalloestrogens – A class of cancer-causing estrogen-mimicking compounds that can be found in thousands of consumer products. Included in the list of potent metalloestrogens are aluminum, antimony, copper, lead, mercury, cadmium, and tin.

How to Limit Your Exposure to Gender-Bending Chemicals

It may be unlikely to completely eliminate products with EDCs, but there are a number of practical strategies that you can try to limit your exposure to these gender-bending substances. The first step would be to stop using Teflon cookware, as EDCs can leach out from contaminated cookware. Replace them with ceramic ones. Stop eating out of cans, as the sealant used for the can liner is almost always made from powerful endocrine-disrupting petrochemicals known as bisphenols, e.g. Bisphenol A,
Bisphenol S.

You should also get rid of cleaning products loaded with chemicals, artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, vinyl shower curtains, chemical-laden shampoos, and personal hygiene products. Replace them all with natural, toxin-free alternatives. Adjusting your diet can also help, since many processed foods contain gender-bending toxins. Switch to organic foods, which are cultivated without chemical interventions.

How to Address Aging-Related Testosterone Decline

As mentioned above, your testosterone stores also decline naturally as you age. However, there are methods that can help boost your levels. Below are some options you can consider:

The Hormone Replacement Method

If you suspect that you have insufficient testosterone stores, you should have your levels tested. Issues linked to testosterone decline include:

  • Decreased sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Depressed mood
  • Memory problems
  • Impaired concentration

A blood test may not be enough to determine your levels, because testosterone levels can fluctuate during the day. Once you determine that you do have low levels, there are a number of options to take. There are synthetic and bioidentical testosterone products out on the market, but I advise using bioidentical hormones like DHEA. DHEA is a hormone secreted by your adrenal glands in your brain. This substance is the most abundant precursor hormone in the human body. It is crucial for the creation of vital hormones, including testosterone and other sex hormones.

The natural production of DHEA is also age-dependent. Prior to puberty, the body produces very little DHEA. Production of this prohormone peaks during your late 20’s or early 30’s. With age, DHEA production begins to decline. The adrenal glands also manufacture the stress hormone cortisol, which is in direct competition with DHEA for production because they use the same hormonal substrate known as pregnenolone. Chronic stress basically causes excessive cortisol levels and impairs DHEA production, which is why stress is another factor for low testosterone levels.

It is important not to use any DHEA product without the supervision of a professional. Find a qualified health care provider who will monitor your hormone levels and determine if you require supplementation. Rather than using an oral hormone supplementation, I recommend trans-mucosal (vagina or rectum) application. Skin application may not be wise, as it makes it difficult to measure the dosage you receive. This may cause you to end up receiving more than what your body requires.

I recommend using a trans-mucosal DHEA cream. Applying it to the rectum or if you are a a woman, your vagina, will allow the mucous epithelial membranes that line your mucosa to perform effective absorption. These membranes regulate absorption and inhibit the production of unwanted metabolites of DHEA. I personally apply 50 milligrams of trans-rectal DHEA cream twice a day – this has improved my own testosterone levels significantly. However, please note that I do NOT recommend prolonged supplementation of hormones. Doing so can trick your body into halting its own DHEA production and may cause your adrenals to become seriously impaired down.

Saw Palmetto and the Testosterone-Prostate Cancer Myth

Prostate hyperplasia (BPH), or simply an enlarged prostate, is a serious problem among men, especially those over age 60. As I’ve pointed out, high testosterone levels are not a precursor to an enlarged prostate or cancer; rather, excessive DHT and estrogen levels formed as metabolites of testosterone are. Conventional medicine uses two classes of drugs to treat BPH, each having a number of serious side effects. These are:

  1. Alpha-blockers, such as Flomax, Hytrin, Cardura, and Rapaflo – These relax smooth muscles, including your bladder and prostate. They work to improve urine flow, but do NOT do anything to reduce the size of an enlarged prostate.
  2. 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, like Avodart and Proscar – The enzyme 5-alpha reductase converts testosterone to DHT, which stimulates the prostate. Although this class of drugs does limit the production of DHT and shrinks an enlarged prostate, it comes with a number of significant risks, including a higher chance of developing prostate cancer.

According to Dr. Rudi Moerck, an expert in chemistry and drug industry insider, men who have low levels of testosterone may experience the following problems:

  • Weight gain
  • Breast enlargement
  • Problems with urinating

Instead of turning to some drug that can only ameliorate symptoms and cause additional complications, I recommend using a natural saw palmetto supplement. Dr. Moerck says that there are about 100 clinical studies on the benefits of saw palmetto, one of them being a contributed to decreased prostate cancer risk. When choosing a saw palmetto supplement, you should be wary of the brand, as there are those that use an inactive form of the plant.

Saw palmetto is a very potent supplement, but only if a high-quality source is used. Dr. Moerck recommends using an organic supercritical CO2 extract of saw palmetto oil, which is dark green in color. Since saw palmetto is a fat-soluble supplement, taking it with eggs will enhance the absorption of its nutrients.

 

There is also solid research indicating that if you take astaxanthin in combination with saw palmetto, you may experience significant synergistic benefits. A 2009 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that an optimal dose of saw palmetto and astaxanthin decreased both DHT and estrogen while simultaneously increasingtestosterone.6 Also, in order to block the synthesis of excess estrogen (estradiol) from testosterone there are excellent foods and plant extracts that may help to block the enzyme known as aromatase which is responsible producing estrogen. Some of these include white button mushrooms, grape seed extract and nettles.7

Nutrients That Can Help Boost Testosterone Levels

In addition to using bioidentical hormones or saw palmetto, there are two nutrients that have been found to be beneficial to testicular health and testosterone production.

Zinc

Zinc is an important mineral in testosterone production.8 Yet, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that about 45 percent of adults over 60 have low zinc levels due to insufficient intake. Regardless of supplementation, 20 to 25 percent of older adults still had inadequate levels.9

It was found that supplementing with zinc for as little as six weeks has been shown to improve testosterone in men with low levels. On the other hand, restricting zinc dietary sources yielded to a drop in the production of the male hormone.10 Excellent sources of zinc include:

  • Oysters
  • Protein-rich foods like meats and fish
  • Raw milk and raw cheese
  • Beans
  • Fermented foods, like yogurt and kefir

You may also take a zinc supplement to raise your levels. Just stick to a dosage of less than 40 milligrams a day. Overdosing on zinc may cause nausea or inhibit the absorption of essential minerals in your body, like copper.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is a growing epidemic in the US, and is profoundly affecting men’s health. The cholesterol-derived steroid hormone vitamin D is crucial for men’s health. It plays a role in the development of the sperm cell nucleus, and helps maintain semen quality and sperm count. Vitamin D can also increase your testosterone level, helping improve your libido. Have your vitamin D levels tested using a 25(OH)D or a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. The optimal level of vitamin D is around 50 to 70 ng/ml for adults. There are three effective sources of vitamin D:

  • Healthy sun exposure
  • Safe-tanning beds
  • Vitamin D3 supplementation

Learn more about how to optimize your vitamin D levels by watching my 1-hour lecture on vitamin D.

The Connection Between Weight and Low Testosterone Levels

Research presented at the Endocrine Society’s 2012 conference discussed the link between weight and testosterone levels. Overweight men were more prone to having low testosterone levels, and shedding excess pounds may alleviate this problem. Managing your weight means you have to manage your diet. Below are some ways to jumpstart a healthy diet:

  • Limit processed sugar in your diet, as excessive sugar consumption (mainly fructose) is the driving force of obesity. But this isn’t a license to useartificial sweeteners, because these also have their share of negative effects.

It is ideal to keep your total fructose consumption, including fructose from fruits, below 25 grams a day. If you have a chronic condition like diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, it is wise to keep it below 15 grams per day.

  • Eliminate refined carbohydrates from processed foods, like cereals and soda, because they contribute to insulin resistance.
  • Consume vegetable carbohydrates and healthy fats. Your body requires the carbohydrates from fresh vegetables rather than grains and sugars. In addition to mono- or polyunsaturated fats found in avocados and raw nuts, saturated fats are also essential to building your testosterone production. According to research, there was a decrease in testosterone stores in people who consumed a diet low in animal-based fat.11 Aside from avocados and raw nuts, ideal sources of healthy fat that can boost your testosterone levels include:
Olives and olive oil Coconuts and coconut oil Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk
Raw nuts, such as almonds or pecans Organic pastured egg yolks Avocados
Grass-fed meats Palm oil Unheated organic nut oils
  • Consume organic dairy products, like high-quality cheeses and whey protein, to boost your branch chain amino acids (BCAA). According to research, BCAAs were found to raise testosterone levels, particularly when taken with strength training.12 While there are supplements that provide BCAAs, I believe that leucine, found in dairy products, carries the highest concentrations of this beneficial amino acid.

For a more comprehensive look at what you should or shouldn’t eat, refer to my nutrition plan.

Exercise as a Testosterone Booster

Unlike aerobics or prolonged moderate exercise, short, intense exercise was found to be beneficial in increasing testosterone levels. The results are enhanced with the help of intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting helps boost testosterone by improving the expression of satiety hormones, like insulin, leptin, adiponectin, glucacgon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), cholecystokinin (CKK), and melanocortins, which are linked to healthy testosterone function, increased libido, and the prevention of age-induced testosterone decline. When it comes to an exercise plan that will complement testosterone function and production (along with overall health), I recommend including not just aerobics in your routine, but also:

  • High-intensity interval training – Work out all your muscle fibers in under 20 to 30 minutes. Learn more about my Peak Fitness regimen.
  • Strength training – When you use strength training to raise your testosterone, you’ll want to increase the weight and lower your number of reps. Focus on doing exercises that work a wider number of muscles, such as squats or dead lifts. Take your workout to the next level by learning the principles of Super-Slow Weight Training.

For more information on how exercise can be used as a natural testosterone booster, read my article “Testosterone Surge After Exercise May Help Remodel the Mind.”

Address Your Chronic Stress, Too

The production of the stress hormone cortisol blocks the production and effects of testosterone. From a biological perspective, cortisol increases your “fight or flight” response, thereby lowering testosterone-associated functions such as mating, competing, and aggression. Chronic stress can take a toll on testosterone production, as well as your overall health. Therefore, stress management is equally important to a healthy diet and regular exercise. Tools you can use to stay stress-free include prayer, meditation, laughter, and yoga. Relaxation skills, such as deep breathing and visualization, can also promote your emotional health.

Among my favorite stress management tools is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), a method similar to acupuncture but without the use of needles. EFT is known to eliminate negative behavior and instill a positive mentality. Always bear in mind that your emotional health is strongly linked to your physical health, and you have to pay attention to your negative feelings as much as you do to the foods you eat.

 

References:

 

Source: mercola.com

 

Seminal vesicle carcinoma.


A 56-year-old man presented with a 29 day history of urgency and twice-hourly micturition. Physical examination was shown a cystic mass in the lower left abdomen. Intravenous urography showed right kidney hydronephrosis and hydroureter. CT scan of the pelvis showed a cystic mass behind the bladder, measuring 14·6 × 10·6 × 12·0 cm . Three-dimensional reconstruction of the pelvis showed a seminal vesicle adenocarcinoma (and the extruded and displaced bladder).

semvcyst

Prostate specifc antigen (PSA) before admission was 40·75 ng/mL. On admission, he was clinically stable, with serum PSA concentration of 28 ng/mL. Urine cytology examination measured three times was negative. Our presumptive diagnosis based on imaging results was a seminal vesicle diverticulum. No bladder tumours were found on cystoscopy and our patient had bilateral ureteral intubation and laparoscopic resection of the pelvic mass. Histopathological examination showed seminal vesicle papillary adenocarcinoma. Immunohistochemical staining was positive for CEA and CK7, negative for CA125, PSA and PsAP. Postoperative histologic examination confirmed the diagnosis of primary papillary adenocarcinoma of the seminal vesicle.

Source: Lancet

Use of Advanced Technologies in Low-Risk Prostate Cancer on the Rise.


The use of advanced treatment technologies for prostate cancer has nearly doubled among men who are least likely to benefit, a JAMA study finds.

Researchers examined Medicare data to compare the use of different prostate cancer treatments between 2004 and 2009. Some 56,000 men with new prostate cancer diagnoses were included; advanced treatment technologies were defined as intensity-modulated radiotherapy and robotic prostatectomy.

The use of advanced technologies for men with low-risk disease rose from 32% in 2004 to 44% in 2009; among men at high risk for death from other causes within 10 years, the use of these treatments increased from 36% to 57%. Overall, advanced technologies among men unlikely to die from prostate cancer rose from 13% to 24%.

The researchers conclude: “Continued efforts to differentiate indolent from aggressive disease and to improve the prediction of patient life expectancy may help reduce the use of advanced treatment technologies in this patient population.”

Source: JAMA

 

Low-dose BPA exposure increased prostate cancer risk in stem cells.


In vivo evidence shows that developmental exposure to bisphenol A significantly increases the carcinogenic susceptibility of the human prostate epithelium, according to data presented here at ENDO 2013.

“Our new findings provide the first direct in vivo evidence that early life exposure to BPA [bisphenol A] at levels found every day in humans increases cancer susceptibility in the human prostate epithelium,” Gail S. Prins, PhD,Michael Reese professor of urology in the departments of urology and physiology and biophysics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said during a press conference here.

In a rodent study published in 2007, Prins and colleagues demonstrated that brief exposure to low doses of BPA early in life reprogrammed the prostate gland and enhanced the carcinogenic potential when exposed to elevated adult estrogen levels, as seen in aging men.

In the current study, Prins and colleagues tested the effects of BPA in an in vivo chimeric prostate model of human prostate epithelial stem-progenitor cells cultured from primary prostate epithelial cells of healthy donors.

They exposed host mice to daily oral low doses of BPA (100 mcg/kg of body weight [BW], n=15; 250 mcg/kg of body weight [BW], n=27) or vehicle (n=34) during the first 2 weeks of tissue formation in vivo.

At day 7, serum BPA levels were 0.16 ng/mL free-BPA and 0.47 ng/mL free-BPA for the 100 mcg/kg BW and 250 mcg/kg BW groups, respectively.

One month after the graft, mice were administered testosterone plus estradiol (T+E) pellets and researchers monitored carcinogensis over a 4-month period.

Among controls with T+E alone, the incidence rate for high grade prostate intraepithelial neoplasia and prostate adenocarcinoma was 12%; 26% of grafts demonstrated normal histology.

During tissue development, treatment with either BPA dose significantly increased intraepithelial neoplasia and prostate adenocarcinoma, with an incidence of 33% (P<.05); the remainder had benign lesions with no grafts demonstrating normal histology.

An additional group (n=42) was given 200 nM BPA during prostasphere culture, followed by 250 mcg/kg BW in vivo during tissue formation to model continuous developmental exposure. Among this group, incidence of intraepithelial neoplasia and prostate adenocarcinoma increased to 45% (P<.01).

Source: Endocrine today

Taking cholesterol-lowering drugs may also reduce the risk of dying from prostate cancer, study finds.


Men who take statins are less likely to die from prostate cancer than those who don’t

 

– Men with prostate cancer who take cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins are significantly less likely to die from their cancer than men who don’t take such medication, according to study led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The findings are published online today in The Prostate.

The study, led by Janet L. Stanford, Ph.D., co-director of the Prostate Cancer Research Program and a member of the Hutchinson Center’s Public Health Sciences Division, followed about 1,000 Seattle-area prostate cancer patients. Approximately 30 percent of the study participants reported using statin drugs to control their cholesterol. After a mean follow-up of almost eight years, the researchers found that the risk of death from prostate cancer among statin users was 1 percent as compared to 5 percent for nonusers.

“If the results of our study are validated in other patient cohorts with extended follow-up for cause-specific death, an intervention trial of statin drugs in prostate cancer patients may be justified,” Stanford said.

“While statin drugs are relatively well tolerated with a low frequency of serious side effects, they cannot be recommended for the prevention of prostate cancer-related death until a preventive effect on mortality from prostate cancer has been demonstrated in a large, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial,” said first author Milan S. Geybels, M.Sc., formerly a researcher in Stanford’s group who is now based at Maastricht University in The Netherlands.

The study is unique in that most prior research of the impact of statin use on prostate cancer outcomes has focused on biochemical recurrence – a rising PSA level – and not prostate cancer-specific mortality. “Very few studies of statin use in relation to death from prostate cancer have been conducted, possibly because such analyses require much longer follow-up for the assessment of this prostate cancer outcome,” Geybels said.

The potential biological explanation behind the association between statin use and decreased mortality from prostate cancer may be related to cholesterol- and non-cholesterol-mediated mechanisms.

  • An example of the former: When cholesterol is incorporated into cell membranes, these “cholesterol-rich domains” play a key role in controlling pathways associated with survival of prostate cancer cells.
  • An example of the latter: Statin drugs inhibit an essential precursor to cholesterol production called mevalonate. Lower levels of mevalonate may reduce the risk of fatal prostate cancer.

“Prostate cancer is an interesting disease for which secondary prevention, or preventing poor long-term patient outcomes, should be considered because it is the most common cancer among men in developed countries and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths,” Geybels said. “While many prostate cancer patients have indolent, slow-growing tumors, others have aggressive tumors that may recur or progress to a life-threatening disease despite initial therapy with radiation or surgery. Therefore, any compound that could stop or slow the progression of prostate cancer would be beneficial,” he said.

Source: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center