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Why Men Should Eat More Veggies

Attention men: Need another reason to eat your vegetables? Find out what vegetables can do for your prostate – and ways to get more veggies into your diet!

Research indicates that men who eat plenty of soluble fiber have a lower risk of prostate cancer. Heart-healthy fiber can be found in fresh produce, steel cut or rolled oats and beans, but fiber from vegetables was shown to be the most beneficial for prostate health.

How to achieve this feat? Be adventurous! Replace meat with beans and hearty root vegetables in soup and casserole recipes; make a vegetable-based casserole the main dish at dinner; order a veggie pizza instead of a meat version; and include a fresh, organic vegetable salad with lunch and dinner. All taste good…and are good for you.


Prudent Diet to Prevent Prostate Cancer

The latest word on this subject comes from researchers at Duke University who found that men whose diets were high in complex carbohydrates and fiber had a risk of prostate cancer that was 70 percent lower than men whose diets were lowest in complex carbs. These findings were applicable to both the African-American and Caucasian men in the study, and spoke to the risk of both low-grade and high-grade prostate cancer. The researchers also reported that high fiber intake was linked to a “significant reduction” in the risk of high-grade prostate cancer, noting that men whose fiber intake was highest had a 50 percent lower risk of high-grade prostate cancer. The findings were presented at a meeting of the American Urological Association. The research team additionally reported that carbohydrate foods with a high glycemic index might increase the risk of prostate cancer among African-American men. The report was derived from an ongoing study at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center and included data on 156 men with diagnosed prostate cancer and 274 without prostate cancer.

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Charles Bankhead, “Carbs May Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer,”, accessed May 23, 2014

Good News for Short Guys

They may look up to their taller peers, but they live longer. A study in Hawaii found that the longevity gene, FOXO3, is more common in short men – those who are 5’2” or shorter – and that they lived the longest among the more than 8,000 American men of Japanese ancestry participating in the study. Researchers monitored the men’s health for nearly five decades and found that within the group, the taller the man, the shorter his lifespan. The gene in question results in a smaller body size, lower prevalence of cancer, lower blood insulin levels as well as longer life, the researchers reported. All the men in the study were born between 1900 and 1919 and 1,200 of them lived into their 90s and 100s; about 250 are still alive. The researchers noted that similar genes in mice, roundworms, flies and even yeast are also associated with longevity. They also reported that taller guys (and women) who don’t have the longevity gene can compensate for it with a healthy lifestyle.

Bradley J. Wilcox et al “Shorter Men Live Longer: Association of Height with Longevity and FOXO3 Genotype in American Men of Japanese Ancestry,” PLOS One, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094385

Chemicals Endanger Male Fertility

Phthalates, chemicals used to make plastics flexible and lotions spreadable, are now found in everything from packaging, textiles, and detergents, to time-release capsules, and may contribute to male infertility. A study published online on February 14 in Fertility & Sterility found that women who use cosmetics often have higher levels of phthalates in their bodies, but concluded that the chemicals are a contributor to infertility only in men. Researchers from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NCHHD) followed 501 couples trying to conceive, and investigated the association between phthalate exposure and infertility. Earlier research has suggested that the chemicals can interfere with the workings of testosterone and other hormones, leading to changes in testicular development, sperm quality and to malformations of the male reproductive system. Fortunately, it is easy to lower phthalates levels quickly: avoid personal care products listing phthalates on their labels, don’t use plastic food containers for heating food and drink, and drink from a glass, not a plastic bottle. A reduction in phthalate levels can often be measured in urine samples within a few days after making these changes.

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Germaine Buck Louis et al, “Urinary bisphenol A, phthalates, and couple fecundity: the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) Study,” Fertility and Sterility, DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2014.01.022

Walnuts for Prostate Health

Walnuts appear to protect against prostate cancerEating walnuts daily appears to protect against prostate cancer, at least in mice. A new study from the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio showed that after researchers injected the animals with human prostate cancer cells, tumors started to grow. But of the 19 mice that received a walnut-enriched diet, only three developed tumors compared to 14 of 32 mice whose diets did not include walnuts. What’s more, the average size of the prostate tumors that grew in the walnut-fed mice was about one fourth the average size of the tumors that occurred in the mice on the “control” diet that contained no walnuts. The amount of walnuts (pulverized into a fine powder) the mice consumed was equivalent to a human serving of about two ounces or two handfuls a day, reported study senior author Russel Reiter, Ph.D., professor of cellular and structural biology. The study was published in the July 2013 issue of Cancer Investigation.

Russel Reiter et al, “A Walnut-Enriched Diet Reduces the Growth of LNCaP Human Prostate Cancer Xenografts in Nude Mice,” (doi:10.3109/07357907.2013.800095)

New Rules for Beating Prostate Cancer

Keeping your weight down and exercising regularly can lower the risk of aggressive tumors in men diagnosed with early prostate cancerWatching what you eat (very carefully), keeping your weight down and exercising regularly can lower the risk of aggressive tumors in men diagnosed with early prostate cancer. The formula for success, however, requires sticking to more than four of eight lifestyle recommendations designed to improve cancer survival from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF). This is the first published study of how well the WCRF plan works. The data shows that failure to follow at least four of the rules leads to a 38 percent increased risk of aggressive tumors compared to men who abided by four or more WCRF recommendations. The researchers, at UCLA, report that the most protective strategy was keeping red meat intake below 500 grams (just over one pound) per week (the WCRF suggests that cutting back to 300 grams per week would be better). Another winning recommendation: limiting calorie intake to 125 calories per 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) of food. The UCLA team looked at adherence to the WCRF recommendations among 2,212 men 40 to 70 years old newly diagnosed with prostate cancer. The study was published online ahead of print on July 1, 2013 in the journal Nutrition and Cancer.

Lenore Arab et al, “Adherence to World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research Lifestyle Recommendations Reduces Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness among African and Caucasian Americans,” Nutrition and Cancer, published online July 1, 2013.