Prostate cancer is a big problem in the black community and there is the need to help the black race reduce their risk of the disease. Previously, we also know that most cases of prostate cancer do not occur until after men turn 50, but in recent years there has been a steady rise in the percentage of men in their 30s and 40s with both prostate problems and prostate cancer, mostly as a result of poor diet and growing environmental pollution. So it’s a good idea as black men to start taking steps to lower our risk now!
Polyphenols in both green tea and red wine have been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer, but until now scientists were not too sure but now they believe they know.
Green tea and red wine inhibit prostate cancer
Recently a team of international investigators has discovered that polyphenols in green tea and red wine interrupt or “snarl the traffic” in a critical pathway that carries signals from cells. When this cell-signaling process is disrupted, it inhibits prostate cancer growth.
The research findings, which appear in The FASEB Journal online, will positively lead to the development of drugs that can improve current treatments and/or slow or stop the progression of prostate cancer and other types of cancer as well. According to Dr. Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal, “Not only does [the] signaling pathway play a role in prostate cancer, but it also plays a role in other cancers, such as colon cancer, breast cancer and gastric cancers.”
The investigators discovered this in an experiment in which three groups of mice were given either plain drinking water, drinking water that contains a green tea polyphenol known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), or drinking water with another green tea polyphenol called polyphenon E. After human prostate cancer cells were implanted into all the mice, the scientists waited to see what transpired.
The findings were encouraging: the two groups of mice that received a green tea polyphenol exhibited an intense reduction in the size of their prostate cancer tumors.
Both green tea and red wine contain these prostate cancer-fighting polyphenols. Thus Weissmann noted that “As long as they are taken in moderation, all signs show that red wine and green tea may be ranked among the most potent ‘health foods’ we know.”
How Green Tea Polyphenols May Fight Cancer
Polyphenols in tea, which include EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) and many others, are protective against many types of cancer. For instance, women under 50 who drank three or more cups of tea a day had a 37 percent reduced risk of developing breast cancer, and women who regularly drink five or more cups of green tea daily appear about 20 percent less likely to develop stomach cancer.
Other studies have also highlighted tea’s potential to fight skin cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer, and compelling evidence suggests that the polyphenols in green tea may be even more effective at fighting the progression of cancer than the antioxidants found in red wine and grapes.
Several major ways that green tea, and also green tea extract, may help prevent cancer:
The polyphenols in green tea may constitute up to 30 percent of the dry leaf weight, so, when you drink a cup of green tea, you’re drinking a fairly potent solution of healthy tea polyphenols. Green tea is the least processed kind of tea, so it also contains the highest amounts of EGCG of all tea varieties. Keep in mind, however, that many green teas have been oxidized, and this process may take away many of its valuable properties. The easiest sign to look for when evaluating a green tea’s quality is its color: if your green tea is brown rather than green, it’s likely been oxidized.
My personal favorite is matcha green tea because it contains the entire ground tea leaf, and can contain over 100 times the EGCG provided from regular brewed green tea.
In Ghana, Tiens Green Tea also contains synergistic blend of Semen Cassiae Removing intensive heat from the liver and improving vision, moisturizing intestine and easing the bowels. It also contains Radix Polugoni Mutiflori helping in inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis) and Folium Nelumbinis Raises the Clear Yang of the Spleen. Another important ingredient it contains is Jiaogulan used for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and improving heart function. It is also used for strengthening the immune system, increasing stamina and endurance, increasing resistance to environmental stress (as an “adaptogen”), improving memory, and preventing hair loss.
Alcohol and Prostate health
Alcohol has been called the Jekyll and Hyde of health, which summarizes the age-old dispute about the pros and cons of drinking. As scientists have accumulated information about how alcohol affects the human mind and body, a balanced picture is starting to emerge. A study may add some color to the picture, since it raises the hope that red wine may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
On the positive side of the ledger, moderate alcohol use is associated with protection against atherosclerosis, the disease that puts cholesterol-rich plaques just where they are least welcome, in the walls of the arteries. Although many studies of men and women from around the world report a substantial benefit from alcohol, three Harvard studies are particularly relevant to American men. The Health Professionals Follow-up Study, the Physicians’ Health Study, and the Harvard Alumni Study have all reported that men who drink modestly enjoy substantial protection against angina, first heart attacks, recurrent heart attacks, sudden cardiac death, and ischemic strokes. The magnitude of protection varies with the problem but ranges from 20% to 56%. And the Harvard studies report other possible benefits of low-dose alcohol, including a reduced risk of diabetes, symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and erectile dysfunction. That’s the good news.
The bad news
The bad news is that alcohol gets the blame for almost 100,000 deaths in the United States each year. Liver disease and accidents are among the biggest alcohol-related problems, but others include high blood pressure, damage to the heart muscle, brain damage, pancreatitis, osteoporosis, intestinal bleeding, and cancers of the mouth, voice box, and upper digestive tract. Alcohol has also caused countless psychosocial and economic problems.
Is alcohol advantage or a nuisance?
It depends on who drinks, how much the person drinks, and when the person drinks. People who are at risk for alcohol abuse should shun it, as should patients with liver disease and those who require medications that may interact adversely with alcohol. No one should drink before driving or operating hazardous machinery. Above all, people who choose to drink must keep the “dose” right. For men, that means one to two drinks a day, counting 1Â½ ounces of liquor, 12 ounces of beer, or 5 ounces of wine as one drink; for women, it’s half as much.
Alcohol vs. alcohol
When it comes to the harmful effects of alcohol, a drink is a drink is a drink. All alcoholic beverages are equally harmful if they are consumed by the wrong person, in the wrong amount, or at the wrong time. When it comes to potential benefit, though, the situation is a bit more complex. Some studies give the edge to red wine, while a few attribute extra benefit to other forms of alcohol. But most studies call it a three-way tie. Back in 1991, for example, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study found that wine, beer, and liquor were equally protective. A few years later, the Physicians’ Health Study agreed, adding that all three beverages produced similar beneficial elevations in HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. And a meta-analysis of 25 studies that compared the effects of wine, beer, or spirits on cardiac risk reported that all were equally beneficial as long as the dose was right.
Lifestyle, alcohol, and prostate cancer
Scientists do not yet understand its causes. Heredity certainly plays a role, but lifestyle factors are also very important. Diet has received the most attention. The leading culprit is saturated fat from animal sources such as red meat and whole dairy products. Although the data are less clear, very high consumption of calcium or alpha-linolenic acid (the omega-3 fat found in flaxseed and canola oil) may also boost risk.
On the other hand, tomatoes and other vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, fish, and soy are all on the “good” list. Among the nutrients, selenium (a mineral) and lycopene (an antioxidant in the beta carotene family) may reduce risk. Obesity increases risk, while exercise may lower it. Most studies report little impact from smoking, but it’s a moot point since no man (or woman) should smoke. As for sexual activity, one study reported that having multiple female sexual partners may increase risk, but another linked frequent ejaculation to protection.
Since prostate cancer is complex and incompletely understood, it’s no surprise that studies of alcohol and prostate cancer have produced mixed results. Although some research implicates heavy drinking as a risk factor, most studies find no link between drinking and the disease. In fact, a meta-analysis of 33 individual research papers concluded that drinking had no effect on a man’s risk of prostate cancer. But that’s not the end of the story. Most investigations of alcohol and prostate cancer lump all forms of alcohol together. A new study, though, suggests that may be a mistake.
Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle investigated alcohol and prostate cancer in 1,456 men between 40 and 64 years of age. Each man underwent a personal evaluation and answered detailed dietary questionnaires. The scientists collected information about many factors that might influence the risk of prostate cancer, including age, race, family history, height, weight, daily caloric intake, marital and sexual history, tobacco use, and occupational and lifestyle factors. Every man’s medical history, including his screening tests for prostate cancer, was evaluated. All the cases of prostate cancer were graded for the aggressiveness of the disease and staged for its extent. Finally, all the men provided detailed information about their alcohol consumption.
The results confirmed many findings of previous studies: The risk of prostate cancer was increased in men with a family history of the disease, in African Americans, in men with a high caloric intake, in current smokers, and in men who had many female sexual partners in the course of their lives. In addition, most of the men had localized disease of moderate aggressiveness (Gleason grade 5″”7). In all these respects, the men in the Seattle study were similar to other Americans with prostate cancer.
At first, the results for alcohol consumption may also seem similar to many earlier studies of alcohol and prostate cancer: There was no relationship between overall alcohol consumption and risk. But the scientists went one step further by evaluating each type of alcoholic beverage independently. The results showed that heavy beer drinking (35 or more a week for eight years or longer) appeared to increase risk. In contrast, wine drinking was linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. And when white wine was compared to red, most of the benefit was attributed to red. Even low amounts seemed to help, and for every additional glass of red wine per week, the relative risk declined by 6%. In all, men who averaged four to seven glasses of red wine per week were only 52% as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer as those who did not drink red wine. In addition, red wine appeared particularly protective against advanced or aggressive cancers.
Why red wine?
Doctors don’t know the answer. But much of the speculation focuses on chemicals that are absent in other alcoholic beverages, including various flavonoids and resveratrol. These components have antioxidant properties, and some appear to counterbalance androgens, the male hormones that stimulate the prostate. In test tube experiments, flavonoids reduce PSA production by prostate cancer cells, suggesting a decrease in cellular activity, and resveratrol damps down the activity of the genes that promote cell growth. Resveratrol also induces prostate cancer cell death by a process called apoptosis (cell suicide).
Resveratrol, a polyphenol found in a number of plants, including grape skins, raspberries, mulberries and peanuts. Among its many health-boosting properties is a known ability to fight cancer. Resveratrol deeply penetrates the center of your cell’s nucleus, giving your DNA time to repair free radical damage. It also supports cell functions in your heart and brain so that you can help prevent the rampant spread of cancer cells at any stage.
Further, resveratrol’s anti-inflammatory properties help prevent certain enzymes from forming that trigger tumor development. It also helps cut down cell reproduction, which helps reduce the number of cell divisions that could contribute to the progression of cancer cell growth, and may also reduce testosterone levels, which promote prostate cancer growth.
Resveratrol is found in abundance in red wine, and it’s highly soluble in alcohol, meaning your body may absorb more of it from red wine than from other sources. This may be why drinking a glass of red wine a day has been said to reduce men’s prostate cancer risk by 50 percent.
I do not, however, suggest drinking large amounts of red wine, as the alcohol is a poison to your system.
Instead, you can get some resveratrol from your diet by eating grapes (muscadine grapes have the highest concentration of resveratrol in nature because of their extra thick skins and numerous seeds where it is concentrated), cocoa, dark chocolate and peanuts, but it will likely be difficult to get a therapeutic dose, especially since these are all foods I recommend you eat only in moderation. The other option is to take a resveratrol supplement
Which Coffee Reduces Prostate Cancer Risk by 50%?
According to a new study from Italy, a certain type of coffee reduces prostate cancer risk by 50%. This finding is likely great news to men who enjoy several cups of coffee every day, so if that’s you, put the pot on.
The study is not the first to extol the virtues of certain elements in coffee or drinking coffee on prostate cancer risk. For example:
In a 2017 meta-analysis of coffee consumption and prostate cancer risk that involved 28 studies, the authors reported that drinking coffee reduced the risk of localized prostate cancer.
The authors of a 2017 case-control study reported that greater intake of caffeic acids (high levels in coffee) and hydroxybenzoic acids were associated with a lower risk of advanced prostate cancer and that high consumption of caffeic acid and ferulic acid may be associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer in general.
Italian style coffee study
In this latest study, the findings of which were published in the International Journal of Cancer, the focus was on Italian-style coffee. Specifically Italian-style coffee is prepared by using high pressure, very high water temperature, and no filters, which could result in a greater concentration of bioactive ingredients and which is significantly different than how coffee is prepared in many places around the world. The study evaluated the impact of coffee drinking among 6,989 men age 50 or older who were followed for a mean of 4.24 years.
The authors found that men who consumed at least three cups of Italian-style coffee daily had a 53 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer when compared with men who drank few cups daily.
In addition, the researchers evaluated both caffeinated and decaffeinated Italian-style coffee extracts in the laboratory and found that caffeinated extracts reduced the ability of cancer cells to grow, divide, and spread, but that these benefits were not seen in decaffeinated coffee extracts.
According to study co-author Maria Benedetta Donati, “The observations on cancer cells allow us to say that the beneficial effect observed among the 7,000 participants is most likely due to caffeine, rather than to the many other substances contained in coffee.”
The findings of this study are important for several reasons, not least of which is the fact that some previous studies have produced contradictory results. They also highlight that how the coffee is prepared (Italian style being different than how it is made in many other parts of the world) is significant in reducing prostate cancer risk.
Many doctors are reluctant to recommend alcohol for health, fearing that their patients might assume that if a little alcohol is good, more might be better. They have a point, but men who enjoy alcohol and can drink moderately and responsibly may benefit from a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and cardiac death. Although red wine has theoretical advantages, it has not been proven superior to other forms of alcohol when it comes to fighting cardiovascular disease.
Prostate cancer may be different. The Seattle study raises the hope that red wine may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. It’s only one study, and a rather small one for this kind of analysis. Although it’s far too early to endorse red wine for the prostate, the study is bound to mark an outpouring of new research.
Any volunteers? Hahaha! See you
Dr. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu is a Research Professor of Prostate Cancer and Alternative Medicine –Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Larnaca City, Cyprus, chancellor of Nyarkotey college of Holistic Medicine, Tema, community 7 post office. National President of the Alternative Medical Association of Ghana (AMAG) and a member of the Prostate cancer Transatlantic Consortium (CAPtc) and Society of Cancer Epigenetics, Austria. 0208679076